Spicy Mussels with ‘Nduja

These mussels came about because a friend gifted Frank with a jar of ‘nduja, a spicy Italian salami-type spread. She thought it might be a replacement for hot Italian sausage which so far has not been found in France. This recipe on Serious Eats seemed like another good use for it. Serves about 3:

Spicy Mussels with ‘Nduja 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • salt
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) ‘nduja
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice from one lemon

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic, season lightly with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add ‘nduja and, using a wooden spoon, break it into pieces and stir vigorously to combine with shallots and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fat from ‘nduja separates and shallots and garlic are stained red and fully coated, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add wine, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add mussels, stir, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. Cook just until all the mussels are open, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and add parsley, lemon juice, and zest to saucepan and stir to combine. Taste the liquid, and adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

Great! Spicy but not so spicy that it took away from the mussels. For the first time, we had some really good mussels from the marché—I’m going back to that seller because this will be in regular rotation.

If you don’t have ‘nduja you could probably sauté up some hot Italian sausage, or merguez (removed from the casing and crumbled) or even some finely chopped hot sopressata.

The lemon zest was a nice touch, and I’m going to use it in any mussel dishes going forward.


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