Cozze in Bianco

by RRR
A white bowl on a rustic table with mussels in a buttery sauce with crusty bread

When I think of Carrabba’s, I think of Mussels! And, when I think of Mussels, I think of Carrabba’s!

So, my husband and I were having a glass of wine one evening. You know? Those moments when you think you can solve all the world’s problems. And in a stroke of genius (sarcasm), I say “Well, if people go to Carrabba’s just to get the mussels, maybe they go to other restaurants to get another specific thing!” Did I mention I was already 1 deep?

And the idea for my YouTube channel was born! So, if you are enjoying my content, then you have Carrabba’s to thank. And if not, then you have Carrabba’s to blame.

Either way, here we are.

So what, IMO, makes those little Sea Suckers so yummy at Carrabba’s?  Well, for one they use the Prince Edward Island mussels.  The best, most tender and most flavorful mussels around.  And then there’s that sauce!  The hint of Pernod and julienned basil is nothing short of perfection.  The pernod adds a slight sweetness and a licorice aftertaste, similar to that of anise. Some people also detect a hint of citrus or citrus peel in the background, which adds a bit of brightness to the flavor profile.  It’s so good, you simply must use the bread to mop up all the goodness long after the mussels are gone.

I once had a server suggest that I order the mussels with the Pernod & Basil sauce over linguine as my entree.  My life was ever the same and I will forever be grateful to that server.

I find that the recipes from Carrabba’s always put a different spin on the traditional Italian favorites.  And while I, personally, don’t take issue with that, it is obviously a complaint that the restaurant chain has heard before.   A quote from the founder’s, taken from Carrabba’s website reads;  “So give us a break here. Don’t go picking over our Grandma’s and Mamma’s and Aunt’s and Uncle’s recipes, whining about this not being the way they did it at your house. Great! We’ll go to your house, this is the way the old folks taught the young folks. This is the way we remember things tasting. And this is what it all comes down to-with generous sprinklings of life, love and oregano-for two Sicilian boys from Texas who love to cook and eat.”

For a fun Carrabba’s inspired Italian-American night at your house, serve the mussels with Carrabba’s Olive Oil Bread Dip and their Chicken Bryan. 


A white bowl on a rustic table with mussels in a buttery sauce with crusty bread

Carrabba's Mussels in White Wine & Garlic

Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 580 calories 30 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 2 lbs. live PEI (Prince Edward Island) mussels
  • 3 TBL EVOO
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry, white wine
  • 3 TBL Pernod
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 stick butter, divided into 8 pats
  • 3 TBL fresh basil, julienned
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper


Make certain that all mussels are still alive.  They will be closed, tightly, if alive.  Discard any dead ones, even if they are opened slightly.  Remove any “beards” from the mussels and allow the mussels to soak in clean, cold water for 10 minutes to remove sand.

Place a large, lidded pot on a Med-Low heat.  Add the EVOO, onion and garlic and cook until translucent.

Next, add the white wine and simmer approx. 30 seconds.  Add the mussels, place lid on pot and allow mussels to steam and open, about 2 minutes.  Once all the mussels have opened and, using a slotted spoon, remove the mussels from the pot and set aside.

To the mussel liquor (sauce), add the Pernod and lemon juice.  Simmer and reduce by 1/2, approx. 5 minutes.

Place heat on lowest setting and whisk the butter pats into the sauce, 1 pat at a time.  Whisk continuously during this process to allow the sauce to emulsify.  Add 2 pinches of salt and 3 cranks of black pepper and continue to reduce the white wine sauce until the sauce has considerable body.

Return the mussels to the pot, add the basil and toss all ingredients to evenly coat the mussels in the white wine sauce.

Serve with Carrabba’s Chicken Bryan and Bread Dip and Enjoy!


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