Mussels and Italian Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce!!! AKA Zuppa Di Cozze!!! In my business, you work through most weekends and holidays! This couldn't be more true than on holidays like Mother's Day and Valentine's Day! My wife has long resigned herself to the fact that I am working late and battle weary by the time I get home. Now, on Valentine's Day, ten years ago, I came home dirty, smelly, weary, tired, and cranky! To my surprise, my Wonder Woman wife had a super sized fresh bowl of steaming mussels and a Big Gulp size glass of Chianti poured and ready for me! I couldn't have been happier to come home to this unexpected surprise! Well, you know me...as this dish progressed through the years, it came to include spicy Italian Sausage! This, my friends, is how tradition is born! Every Valentine's Day, these bivalve molluscs find a happy home right here at Supersonic Kitchen! This one is easy, very, very, easy....but the flavors are HUGE!!! You can make it as spicy as you want it...you can lessen or omit the red pepper, you can use sweet Italian sausage, or even lessen the garlic, I tend to be trying to get the undead to move towards the next kitchen with my overuse of what I call nature's best cologne! Also worthy of note, this recipe is written using flash frozen mussels. What a product, these mussels are flash frozen usually within hours of harvest. You are more than welcome to use fresh mussels, but those come with soaking, cleaning, and debearding!! This is a quick weeknight dinner, and the frozen variety works brilliantly here!!! Enjoy this one with some crusty bread, broiled and rubbed with a fresh garlic clove....oh, and a good bottle of wine...CHEERS!!!
Mussels with Sausage in Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 lbs Frozen Mussels
1 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage, about 4 to 5 links
1 lb ripe Roma Tomatoes, quartered, seeded, and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (Actually, I use more like 6, but do what you want here!)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbl minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2/3 cup white wine (Good enough to drink! We use Pinot Grigio.)
1/4 cup fresh julienned Basil
Heat oil in large skillet. Add sausage links to pan, and pan fry on one side until golden brown. Turn links over, add about a 1/4 water, cover, and let simmer over medium heat until water evaporates. Remove sausage from pan to a plate to rest while you build your sauce.
Add garlic directly to sausage drippings in pan and saute for about 30 seconds, stirring to avoid burning. Add tomatoes to garlic. Stir around and add crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
Continue cooking tomato mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes, until tomatoes are very soft. Add white wine and parsley. Cook and allow wine to reduce a little bit for about 3 minutes. While wine is reducing, slice sausage links into 1/2 inch pieces on the bias (diagonally). Place sausage into pan with tomatoes and give it a good stir.
Empty bags of frozen mussels on top of tomato and sausage mixture. Cover tightly with lid and allow mussels to steam until all are open. This'll take a few minutes. When done, remove any mussels that are unopened, which is very few when using this type of mussel.
Give everything a big stir, these mussels have released alot of salty, briny goodness onto your sauce. Serve right out of the pan, or transfer to a large serving bowl. Top with fresh julienned basil!!! CHEERS! Here's to music, here's to food !!! \m/