Peggy Lampman's Wednesday dinnerFeed: Pasta with Mussels, Chorizo and Fennel
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
When treating myself, I add a tablespoon of unsalted butter to the oil. The sauce is divine but initially thin; the starch in the noodles thickens it after sitting a few minutes in the brew. Not in the mood for pasta? I've often made this exact dish eliminating the pasta.
Don't forget the baguette; an essential component for mopping up this delicious sauce!
Yield: 4 main course servings if served over pasta
Time: 25 minutes
Cost: $15-$19 (mussels are often on sale, so cost varies accordingly)
12 ounces dry spaghetti or linguini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 links (1 pound) uncooked chorizo sausage, sausage removed from casing
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large fennel bulb,cored and thinly sliced (reserve leafy fennel fronds for garnish)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
2 cups dry white wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed (discard any that will not close)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2. While pasta water is cooking, in a large sautÃ© pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and break up with a fork.
3. When the sausage is browned, stir in the garlic, fennel seeds and sliced fennel and sautÃ© an additional 3-5 minutes. or until the fennel is just transparent and slightly limp.
4. Add the wine and tomatoes and let simmer briskly for 5 minutes.
5. Add the mussels to the pan. Cover and cook until the mussels open (1-4 minutes). Combine mussels mixture and pasta in pan or spoon mussels and broth over pasta into serving bowls, discarding any that did not open. Sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds and serve.