I make mussels quite a bit and my go to recipe is Steamed Mussels in a White Wine Saffron Broth. This recipe is similar but minus the saffron and plus some wonderful sausage. I used locally (and minimally processed) Polidori Mild Italian Sausage. You can use mild or spicy, whatever you and your guests prefer. The sausage adds wonderful flavor to the broth and makes a little more hearty, but still light meal when served over pasta. My favorite noodle in the world is Buccatini. It's basically thick spaghetti with a hole through the whole noodle...or like a very long macaroni noodle. Mmmm...regular spaghetti, angel hair or linguine would work as well.
-2-3 lbs fresh mussels (I did 3 lbs for 5 people)
-3 shallots, minced (or 1 white onion)
-6 garlic cloves, minced
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 cup white wine
-4 cups chicken broth
-1 Tbsp tomato paste
-2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
-1 lb Italian sausage, mild or spicy - I used Polidori
-1 baguette french bread
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 pkg buccatini, spaghetti or linguine pasta
-1 handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
First, rinse (and scrub if they're really dirty) your mussels in a colander in the sink.
In a large pot heat the 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high. Saute the 3 chopped shallots and 6 minced garlic cloves with a little salt and pepper until the onions are clear and fragrant.
Now add the Italian sausage. If it came in casings, remove the sausage. Continue to cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle.
Once the sausage is cooked through add the 1 cup white wine and 4 cups chicken broth. Also, add the few sprigs of thyme and 1 Tbsp tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 15-20 minutes You can simmer longer and it will just make a more flavorful broth. It will just cook down a bit after an hour or so. You can always add more broth.
While the broth is simmering, boil the pasta in another pot according to the package directions. I always dip a coffee mug into the water right before I drain the pasta to reserve some liquid. Then I added some of it back to the pasta in the pot to keep it from sticking. You can also add a little olive oil. Also, while the broth is simmering, slice your bread and grill on a grill pan using olive oil spray to keep from sticking. Remove and keep in a basket.
When you are ready to add the mussels, bring the broth back up to a boil. Add the mussels and put the lid on. Set the timer for 5-10 minutes or until the mussels open up. Don't eat any mussels that didn't open...they weren't fresh