ffwD: Mussels & Chorizo with Pasta

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.

71 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Yuri - Chef Pandita
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 05:08:14

    Chorizo and clams together, who would’ve thought? I’m glad the dish turned out delicious, I am getting back on the ffwd bandwagon and decided to start next week because I didn’t want to make this dish. Happy Friday!

  2. Yuri - Chef Pandita
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 05:10:21

    …and by clam I meant mussels. U got me πŸ˜›

  3. filingawaycupcakes
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 05:22:31

    mmmmm! I love mussels.

  4. Elpiniki
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 05:26:43

    Looks great! I love the presentation!

  5. Jana
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 06:13:33

    I always have chorizo in my fridge, itΒ΄s a pity that you canΒ΄t find it in other countries.
    I Β΄ve never try mussels with chorizo!!
    ItΒ΄looks yummy
    xoxoxo from Spain

  6. Food,Photography & France
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 06:21:36

    Great set of flavours – very good dish. Congratulations.

  7. kitchenbelleicious
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 06:34:42

    I love pasta and especially with the mussels. The addition of chorizo adds a whole new flavor of saltiness and yummyiness! I love this dish and will be making it soon.

  8. Norma Chang
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 06:43:12

    Looks absolutely delicious. I am drooling. Beautiful presentation.

  9. Maureen
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 06:47:12

    I love the combination. Well done!

  10. mireia
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 07:07:19

    You did a great job choosing the Spanish chorizo waaaaaay better!

    This dish looks wonderful!

  11. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 07:13:23

    So much advice, it all gets rather confusing, doesn’t it? I’m glad the dish turned out well for you and I loved your story behind this post!

  12. Casey
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 07:14:51

    You certainly put a lot of effort into this and the results look great. I can’t eat mussels and I had no idea if there was anything to sub for it.

  13. Cher
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 07:24:47

    Glad it worked out well for you! I couldn’t get my hands on any Spanish chorizo, but I am definitely going to have to seek some out…

  14. Adriana @ GreatFood360Β°
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 07:38:46

    Fox and Obel sounds like a dream to shop at! I followed Dorie’s instructions to a T, and loved the broth that resulted from the mussel liquor, wine, chorizo and the rest of the good stuff. Lovely fettuccine. πŸ™‚

  15. Ei
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:09:48

    OH! I was wondering why the heck I couldn’t get my chorizo so stay in slices! It crumbled right out. This close to Mexico, I’m completely sure I have the mexican version. I didn’t see an alternative. I kind of liked how it just became part of the sauce, instead of having chunks of sausage, so no harm done, but I suspected it wasn’t “right.” Thank you for solving the mystery.

    Looks great, and I’m glad all the new components worked out for you. How nice to have such a helpful seafood guy.

  16. oneexpatslife
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:42:16

    Ah, your posts sometimes make me a little homesick, Fox & Obel is such a great store. The truffle fries from their cafe are sinfully delicious.

    And the sauce is the best part! In fact, I specifically decided not to serve mine over pasta because using bread to sop up the broth is usually my favorite part of eating mussels.

  17. saffronandhoney
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:48:50

    Look delicious! You did a wonderful job.

  18. Alice
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:53:37

    I love how so many of us do “all-Dorie” meals to make up some of the dishes we hadn’t made, LOL! πŸ™‚
    Oh, and the mussels in a ice-cold bath in the fridge will keep for up to five days – you might have a couple casualties that their shells dont shut when you bang another mussel against them (toss those out) but mostly they will be alright. πŸ™‚ It’s hard to get time to go to the fish mongers around here the day that I want to make seafood, so I have learned a few things and they will still taste just as good. And as taught to me by a crazy Frenchman, making sure the sauce is boiling and steam built up in your pan is integral just before you dunk the mussels in and close the lid which will force them to gasp a huge breath of “air,” soaking up all the delicious sauce you have created, which flavors them more intensely. πŸ™‚
    sounds like you did a great job!! πŸ™‚ I was afraid of the chorizo too but darn it tasted great!

  19. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit}
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 08:57:31

    I just say a pasta and mussles dish on the food network the other day and thought I should try it. I love the sauce and presentation….beautiful!

  20. Three-Cookies
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 09:00:55

    Wow so much thought, planning and effort went into procuring the ingredients.

  21. Inger Wilkerson
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 09:14:43

    I love mussels–and spice–so this sounds amazing! I’ve always done them in wine, but absolutely have to try this. One of the upscale grocery stores near us now stocks mussels; life is good!

  22. Carol Horne
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 09:16:37

    Hi Yummy chunklet – that photo is fantastic! I am doing some work the PEI based group Discover Mussels and I have to say that the seafood guy’s concern over the delicacy of our delish mussels was overly cautious. Our mussels are pretty hardy, and like Alice said they will live in the fridge for a few days. And you can easily check by tapping the shell to see if anyone is “home!” We have a fantastic website http://www.discovermussels.com and coincidentally our current newsletter leads with a mussel/chorizo recipe! We have a ton of other recipes and excellent videos on how to handle and cook mussels. Plus you can join our Facebook group facebook.com/discovermussels to meet other mussel fans.
    PS I bet Anne of Green Gables would have loved to try your dish!

  23. Elaine
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 09:19:13

    It looks so good! I’m glad you liked the chorizo – it flavors everything so nicely. This was a fun and delicious dish and I am glad that we had this one on the schedule because it is nice to cook things that we don’t normally cook. I was also afraid of getting my mussels too early and went the day of, but its good to know that they can last overnight as well.

  24. spicegirlfla
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 09:58:12

    Well, I’m a huge fan of mussels and pasta – and now add in chorizo!! Yum, I really need to try this. I have a hard time finding quality mussels though, but when I do I’m going to remember this tip!

  25. Krissy
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:28:45

    Wow…great cooking…yours turned out beautifully. We have lots of chorizo here in AZ, but I’ll have to hunt for fresh mussels when I catch up on this one. I’m glad I have you all as tutors when I get to that point…never cooked them before.

  26. Karen
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:29:00

    What a flavorful sounding meal…my husband would love this.

  27. bitsandbreadcrumbs
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:34:48

    Mussels, thyme and chorizo, what a great sounding combo! I’d love to try this!

  28. Kathy
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:53:41

    Your meal looks amazing…I used a spicy smoked sausage with little heat. I think next time I’ll spice it up a bit with a real chorizo. Happy Friday!

  29. Audrey Allure
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:59:46

    This looks divine!

  30. dulceshome
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:01:23

    So happy that you had fun with this dish! I had some challenges with finding the mussels. Funny about the chorizo. I used the Spanish, but I think this would be fabulous with the Mexican too. Next time!

  31. Trevor Sis Boom
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:04:20

    I ended up using the Mexican variety and it turned out great as well. I just had to cook it up first. I thought this was one of the best from the book so far. And probably the easiest.

  32. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:37:52

    Yep, it’s all about timing, which it looks like you nailed!

  33. promenadeplantings
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:59:22

    This sounds like a fantastic combination, and well done for trying new ingredients! I love the fact they are Anne of Green Gables too πŸ™‚

  34. Caroline
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:17:35

    I wish I were a bigger fan of mussels (well, really seafood in general), but this pasta sounds delicious! x

  35. Necessity is the Mother of Invention
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:20:30

    Good idea to try Fox and Obel — I should have tried them, though I didn’t mind cleaning out Whole Foods. Nice photos, too.

  36. sara
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 13:30:21

    This looks amazing! I have to admit, I have NEVER cooked with mussels, even though I love them! I’m a huge fan of pasta dishes friends have made with whole mussels, like this one…I so need to give it a try myself, and sometime soon!

  37. Suzi
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 13:41:25

    Looks delicious and your photo is stunning.

  38. Geni - Sweet and Crumby
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 15:14:27

    It looks like you conquered your mussels fear! πŸ™‚ It looks marvelous!

  39. JamieAnne
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 16:00:52


  40. Lola
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 16:56:52

    It was all a bit daunting, wasn’t it? But it DID all come together and was delicious! I’m glad you enjoyed it too!

  41. Cakelaw
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 18:23:37

    This looks so good!

  42. Confessions of a Culinary Diva
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 18:36:19

    Lucky you! PEI Mussels are the best πŸ™‚ I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen Anne of Green Gables, and read the books – they were a favorite growing up. Think I might have even fantasized about moving to Prince Edward Island. Fun post, and congrats on the success!

  43. JasmyneTea
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 18:48:30

    I don’t like mussels, but your dish looks great! I never would have asked the people I was buying the ingredients from, I would have just guessed how to cook them πŸ˜›

  44. Tasty Mayhem
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:13:55

    Looks like your chorizo kept it color nicely. Waiting for D to get home to finish the dish, I think the sausage in mine got a bit “leached” but still tasted great and didn’t make the dish oily at all. Lovely presentation! Can’t wait to see next weeks soup.

  45. Betsy
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:16:49

    I love the Anne of Green Gables connection. Those books were favorites back when I was young. Makes me smile to think of it. Your sauce looks lovely. I’m so impressed with your monthly all-Dorie meals. I’m barely organized enough to make one a week. Nice job.

    • Carol
      Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:52:30

      Betsy, Anne might not have eaten many mussels but she sure loved Prince Edward Island – the source of the tastiest mussels ever!

  46. Ann
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 21:38:42

    This looks really delicious! I would have been concerned about the dish being too oily as well…but it looks perfect!

  47. Purely.. Kay
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 22:55:23

    I sometimes think I have a love affair with chorizo LOL. I really love this dish. It looks simply amazing and ever so delicious.

  48. hotlyspiced
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 01:19:37

    What a great pasta dish! This is my husband’s favourite meal – pasta with mussels and chorizo. Looks delicious. I’m not going to show him because he’ll want that for dinner and he’s getting chicken – it’s already in then oven!

  49. simply Life
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 05:38:41

    wow! what a fabulous and elegant meal!

  50. Parsley Sage
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 13:07:11

    Oooh! Way to make mussels sound tasty! I’m usually all about the seafood but I draw the line at ‘shelled’ things. Yours looks super yummy though! Glad it all came together πŸ™‚

  51. thebigfatnoodle
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 14:58:41

    I’m kicking myself now! I almost bought some mussels earlier this week but then changed my mind! Going shopping tomorrow so will now have to add mussels to the list too!

  52. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 15:56:35

    What a gorgeous dish – the tomato looks like it’s on fire: brilliant colour. Love it.

  53. Reem | Simply Reem
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 17:45:01

    Looks Great!!!
    I love mussels… Beautiful presentation.

  54. Betty
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 17:51:41

    Lovely dish! Mussels are wonderful by themselves, and the addition of chorizo must put them over the top! πŸ™‚

  55. Ronda
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 19:39:43

    Gosh! This seems like a real challenge, but it does look tasty!

  56. Frankly Entertaining
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 21:51:38

    I used PEI mussels as well, and I loved the whole thing! A great meal!

  57. FiSh
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 07:35:52

    that’s really a great recipe especially using mussels for cooking πŸ™‚

    Latest: Happy Dim Sum Garden

  58. sally
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 08:09:45

    Wow! I’m impressed! I’m glad everything went well with the mussels and chorizo.

  59. Robin
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 10:15:01

    Your dish looks perfect. You’ve inspired me to make a list of all the FFwD meals I need to make in order to be up to date. And an all Dorie meal is a great idea.

  60. Ameena
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 10:32:52

    How do you get your pasta just perfect? I can’t seem to get mine to not stick together. This is such an impressive presentation!

  61. Asmita
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 11:10:40

    Wow, Yummy chunklet,
    This looks incredible. Pasta, mussels and chorizo… all my favorite things in one.Yum!!!

  62. Marie
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 11:45:18

    You got a lot of specialized advice! Nice that it all turned out to be good. I’ve only made mussels once before this recipe. They still make me a little nervous, but I’m glad I did this recipe.

  63. Liz
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 15:00:17

    Yes, I agree, this was one amazing dish!!! Beautifully done!

  64. jora
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 15:06:16

    I love your wooden plate. What a great photo. Glad you enjoyed the dish!

  65. Terra
    Feb 19, 2012 @ 21:36:18

    Oh yum! Two things hubby and I love, mussels and chorizo:-) This sounds fantastic! Hugs, Terra

  66. Chris and Amy
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 12:42:35

    Ooooh! Fabulous! We really wanted to make this one but life got in the way. Will have to try it soon.

  67. Grumpy Grateful Mom
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 22:09:29

    Beautiful dish! My husband would love this! I may have to surprise him one of these days, though I’m not so sure mine would turn out so well!

  68. lites66
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 13:04:19

    Talking about the Blood, Sweat & Tears it took putting this meal together – but it seemed worth it. You worked hard to make it happen. Good for you, as always.

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