Mussels are one of those things that seem way more intimidating than they are. They are quick, delicious, and a great way to make a home cooked dinner feel fancy. All these holiday parties and commitments can be draining on your schedule and your wallet. Why not have a night in that feels like a meal out?
The first thing to come to terms with is that the mussels are alive when you buy them. There is a basic rule to follow to know if the mussels are still good to eat: if the shells are open before cooking them, or if the shells are closed after cooking them, they are not good, and you should discard them. The one exception to this rule is prior to cooking them, if a shell is open a bit, you can whack it on the counter. If the mouth closes, it's still good!
This recipe is my favorite way to prepare mussels. It's a little surf and turf with the chorizo, a little Italian with the linguine, and a little cheeky with the beer in the broth. Sop up all that goodness with slices of crusty bread.
Linguine and Mussels with Chorizo
- 1 lb mussels
- 8 oz linguine
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 2 links chorizo
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup of your favorite beer
- 1 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
- Crusty bread (sourdough, ciabatta, rustic)
Chop the onion and chorizo. Place a skillet over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil, the onion, and the chorizo. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until onions are translucent, about five minutes.
At the same time, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add linguine and cooke until al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
While onion and chorizo are cooking, rinse mussels in a strainer under cold water. If any of them are open, whack them on the counter. If the mouth closes, you can still use it. If it remains open, throw that mussel away.
Add mussels to skillet, and pour in the broth and beer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for five minutes. When you take the lid off, all of the mussels should be open. If a lot of them are still closed, cover for another minute or so until they open. If any are still closed at this point, throw those mussels away.
Place equal amounts of linguine in bowls. Add generous scoops of mussels, chorizo, and broth to the bowls. Garnish with parsley. Serve with slices of bread.