Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage with fennel seed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock, plus one cup of water
  • 1 pound box of linguini
  • About 32 mussels (around 1 pound, you want to serve 6-8 per person), scrubbed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Preparation

In large, wide pan or deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, brown and crumble the sausage in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, chili pepper, salt, pepper and thyme. Cover pan and cook to soften, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, stir in tomato paste and add vermouth and stock. Bring to a bubble, add pasta, cover and cook 7-8 minutes, tossing with tongs occasionally. If the pasta is sticking to the bottom of the pan, loosen the pasta with water.

Add mussels, cover and cook 3-4 minutes more to al dente, adding more stock or water if needed. Add parsley and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve directly from pan at the table.