Mussels with Tomatoes in
Garlic-Basil Sauce Serves 4
If you long for a taste of the sea, try this festive medley. The mussels, combined with fresh vegetables and spices, bring a refreshing slice of summer to the midst of winter. Soak up this dish's savory juices with your favorite crusty bread.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 to 20 minutes

3 pounds mussels
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
8 ounces Andouille chicken sausage chopped into little pieces; or use 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes to replace spicy sausage
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes (or canned tomatoes)
1 cup firmly packed basil leaves, cut into thin slices
2 generous tablespoons fresh marjoram or oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 cups clam juice
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil and Pecorino cheese for garnish

1. Scrub mussels and remove beards.

2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Add shallots and sausage. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat.

3. Add garlic and wine and stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil, marjoram, paprika, clam juice and butter and bring to a boil.

4. Add mussels. Simmer covered until mussels open. Taste and adjust broth.

5. Garnish with fresh basil and shaved Pecorino cheese.