Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mussels & Chorizo, with or without pasta

It is rarely a "without" pasta in our houses.  For this recipe, we both voted for "with".  A winner for both, with slightly different interpretations........

Per Tricia~
All three of my guys love mussels, yet I can barely take watching them
 being eaten....let alone think of attempting to consume one myself. 
 Since I enjoy consuming almost everything else on the planet, 
I did not think it necessary for me to struggle with adding to
 my repertoire.  But I did step up to at least clean and prepare
 the little devils all by myself this week.  And I only squealed once  
or twice by a surprise barnacle....
The results ?  
Overwhelming delight.
 My younger son had such an extreme reaction to this dish I literally
 thought he had burned his mouth on a mussel !  He tasted the first and
 immediately drew in air loudly with an accompanying "oooh" sound.
  I had a panic and asked if he was alright or had burned his tongue. 
 Nope- he was simply in awe of how amazing it tasted.  Phew. 
 This mussels recipe, served over fettuccine, was a two thumbs up
 winner in this household. The only complaint at all was that I had
 halved the recipe.  They wanted more......

Per Nana~

I have always followed the traditional Italian way of cooking 
tomato sauce for hours and I find it quite time consuming.  I often 
wanted to make these various quick sauces which tend to be 
simple and lighter, but hubby likes his the old fashion way.  

This week's recipe was definitely a winner.
I made one change, using shrimp instead of mussels. 
 Years ago, while traveling in Belgium,  we visited a 
restaurant in Brussels famous for their mussels.  
 Hubby must have eaten one that was not good and was 
ill for days.  He has not  eaten a mussel since that trip and
 that is the reason for my substitution.

That said, this was one fantastic meal.
I only made half of the recipe, using about a dozen shrimp 
served over 1/2 pound of angel hair pasta.  The combination 
of  chorizo sausage and shrimp was so delicious that I know
this will be revisited again.


  1. Both versions look delicious. Shrimp sounds like a perfect substitute for anyone who does not like mussels.

    And I too once got food poisoning from seafood (not mussels though) and it is a feeling which I would never want to repeat, so I can empathize with Nana's husband.

  2. I think shrimp is a great idea (the mussels were a bit of work...).
    Glad both team Nana and team Tricia enjoyed this one.
    Have a great weekend!

  3. We made this (I didn't eat it though) with chorizo and scallops and it was a great combination too. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Both dishes look great! I know that others used shrimp as well, and I'm excited to try that version!

  5. Since quite a few people have tried substituting the mussels with shrimp and liked it, I think that will be my next version as well. Well done Tricia for cooking this for your family when you don't eat mussels yourself. Now that's what I call love and dedication!

  6. I like Nana's version - although I feel bad for your husband's aversion to mussels now. Shellfish and pork are great together, so it is just a matter of finding which combination works out best for you. Tricia, your boys are developing a great palate. I don't think I tried mussels before turning 16. (Thanks for also reminding me to get some vermouth).

  7. I think this would work perfectly with shrimp. good for you for making it, even though you personally don't like mussels, Tricia! Love that everyone loved it so much!

  8. Love both your versions...I want to try the shrimp version. Tricia: Way to go to do all that work for your family when you were not keen on eating mussels yourself. I always like seeing how you two compare on these cooking projects and to learn how your family reacts. Great post.

  9. Yeah!!! I so loved this one!!! My young nephew shared this dish with me and nearly ate all of it!

  10. Both of these versions look fantastic! Tricia...I had to smile at the reaction of your son...what a compliment! the idea of the shrimp...a great substitution! I hope you both have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Glad you both found ways to enjoy the dish! I considered using shrimp just because the mussels seemed a bit overwhelming.

  12. Glad the boys loved it Tricia - I understand you are not a fan of mussels? Nanna, I think I would like your shrimp version better - I eat mussels, but don't lve them - now prawns on the other hand - mmm...

  13. How fun that the boys loved this - that is pretty great that they explore different foods and tastes! Nana - your pasta with the shrimp looks great. Can't blame your husband for not eating mussels after getting a bad one. Mussels two ways looks terrific!

  14. Glad to hear you both enjoyed this! I loved this, both with and without the pasta. Not sure which way I liked it better. Both were good. Shrimp sounds nice too, as the sauce was delicious on its own. Have a great weekend.

  15. Your pictures look great. So colorful! Glad to see the shrimp version since I had some trouble keeping the mussels alive before they hit the pot!!

  16. Both of your dishes look wonderful! Glad that everyone enjoyed it! I am definitely going to try it with shrimp (I am all for not having to debeard anything!)

  17. I so missed reading your posts. I love how you compare your experiences and the joy you experience doing this project together. Hopefully I'll fully catch up soon! I love your pictures too. Hope everything is going your way!

    1. Tricia and I do enjoy this, we have had a lot of fun over the past year, a lot of
      laughs too. But most of all the food has been good. Thanks so much.

  18. I am amazed that all your guys love mussels, Tricia. I think of it as an adult, acquired taste but after reading many of the Dorista Posts as well as yours, I realize it is not. And, yes, pass mussels, if you wish. We've earned the right. Liked your idea about using shrimp, Nana. I understand that if you get sick on a shellfish, especially clams, oysters or mussels, you never "go back".

  19. I squealed once or twice during the mussel-cleaning process myself--it doesn't do to be too squeamish when cooking. The shrimp idea sounds very good; I intend to try that soon.

  20. So glad your families enjoyed this one. Nana, I wish I had thought to use shrimp instead. What a great idea!

  21. I look forward to your posts every week. I loved the variation with the shrimp!

  22. Both of your interpretations of this dish look wonderful. I am glad it was a hit - it was at ours as well.