The nearest place I could hope to get fresh mussels from is in the Victoria Centre market in Nottingham where they sell some excellent Shetland Isle mussels loose. So my intention to go to town this morning to get half a kilo to cook and adorn some pasta decorated with ripped basil leaves was slightly marred by the cost factor. Not that the mussels are expensive at £3.75 a kilo but the additional travel costs would be another £4 in bus fares. That plus the time going into town and back - one and half hours - put me off.
I thought about the alternatives and wondered if my local Co-Operative store might have a packet of cooked mussels without the shells. On looking I found a packet of reduced -in shells- cooked Scottish mussels in a white wine sauce for £1.09. Actually the white wine sauce that came with the small pack of mussels was quite nice with the pasta.
All in all a simple inexpensive lunch cooked under half an hour and served elegantly with a chilled glass of Chardonnay.