This pasta was the main dish of another “all-Dorie” meal I served this month, and it received rave reviews. However, out of February’s four dishes, I was most worried about this one because it involved two ingredients I’d never cooked with before: mussels and chorizo.
My plan was to buy the mussels the morning of the dinner, as suggested by the seafood guy at Fox & Obel. But, I knew I wouldn’t have time to make an extra trip during that already busy morning. So, the evening before, I bought a pound of Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables!) mussels, a bag of ice, and immediately took a cab home to put the mussels on ice and directly into the refrigerator. I crossed my fingers that they would still be alive the next day.
I also couldn’t tell which kind of chorizo I was supposed to buy. Dorie made it sound like the Spanish sausage-encased version, but I know the Mexican women in my office always talk about Mexican chorizo which is the crumbly-version. After making two calls to my secretary and discussing the dish with the charcutier in Fox & Obel, I settled on the Spanish chorizo and hoped it wasn’t too “heat-spicy” for my rather weak tolerance to anything insanely hot.
I was also concerned about when to add the specific ingredients to the sauce. The seafood guy said not to drop the mussels into the sauce until I was ready to serve the pasta. Plus, the charcutier said not to let the chorizo sit too long in the sauce or else orange oil from the chorizo would pool on top of the sauce. Gross. Despite my trepidation, it all worked out because the final sauce result was amazingly delicious and not oily! The Spanish chorizo was flavored nicely, the PEI mussels opened beautifully, and the thyme in the sauce was reminiscent of an aromatic pizza sauce, which I think is a bonus! Although I served the sauce on pasta, I can definitely see myself making this as a sauce for bread dipping.
To see how other bloggers fared with broth-braised potatoes, check out French Fridays with Dorie where we make recipes from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.