Fireworks Chipotle Tomato Mussels with Wine, Sausage and Garlic

Few people can relate to my elation when I stumbled upon this recipe and found how insanely rich and delicious it is. Ian gets it. He is the one who's always craving mussels and broth. He's usually the one in our household that goes to the trouble of shopping for them, prepping and cooking them. I'm only a humble eater in these mussel scenarios. Frustrated with the last attempt from a marginal recipe, I suspected I could find something better. No discredit to my husband, but we just weren't finding the right recipes. This time I started the search with "wine", "sausage", "mussels". Jackpot! Food 52 came through in spades. I'm thrilled to have found our match. This is the recipe we will go to for mussels for years ahead. 

I made one substitution. I omitted the olive oil and used about 1/4 c. Chipotle Tomato butter to saute the garlic and shallots in. We quadrupled the amounts since we had a lot of mouths to feed. We fed 11 people with 5 lbs of mussels. It was easy peasy and the broth was great to let sit until we were ready to steam the mussels. 

Don't forget to get the very best crusty bread to sop up all the broth. You may need a lot of bread...It's divine with the sauce.

Photo credit: Christopher Carson/Unsplash

Adapted from Food 52 (serves 10-12 as appetizer or main)

1/4 c. Fireworks Chipotle Tomato butter
2 pounds mild or spicy italian sausage (your choice)
5 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
shallots, thinly sliced
large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 cups crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups white wine
8 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat butter over medium high heat in a dutch oven. While it's heating, break apart the Italian sausage into bite size pieces. Add them to the melted butter and cook for 4-5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until softened. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes and white wine and heat to boiling. Cook for 3-5 minutes until most of the alcohol has cooked off. Add the mussels to the pot and gently stir them into the tomato sauce. Cover tightly with the lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mussels open up.
  3. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the basil and parsley. Serve with crusty bread or toasted garlic bread to sop up the juices, or serve over cooked spaghetti.