Mussels with Pancetta and Crème Fraîche

Serving Size: 2
Total Time:

The luscious broth for these plump mussels from chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr., is creamy, tangy and lightly scented with fresh marjoram.


  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp marjoram leaves
  • 0.5 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 0.5 cup crème fraîche
  • 1.25 cup fish stock, or 3/4 cup clam juice plus 1/2 cup of water
  • 48 mussels, scrubbed
  • 0.75 cup dry white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 0.5 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 0.5 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Ounce pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  • crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately low heat until crisp, 5 minutes. Add the onion, celery, fennel and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer over moderately high heat until almost all of the liquid is evaporated, 3 minutes. Add the mussels and stock and bring to a simmer; cover and cook until the mussels open, 4 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche.
  2. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, parsley, marjoram and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and transfer to bowls. Serve with crusty bread.

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Recipe Credit: Jimmy Bannos Jr.
Image Credit: John Kernick