Mussels, 'nduja, Cream and Fennel
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small fennel bulb, very finely diced (reserve fronds to serve if you like)
1 a shallot, very finely diced
2 ounces 'nduja paste
2garlic clove, finely sliced
850g live mussels in shells, cleaned generous glug of dry white wine, approximately
2½ tbsp single cream squeeze of lemon juice salt and freshly ground pepper
handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve (optional)
haquette or toasted sourdough, to serve
To clean the mussels, place them in a colander in the sink and run the tap so there is a flow of water. Scrub them with a brush or your hand so all the stuff on the outside comes off, and pull off the beard (the long stringy bit that comes from out of the shell) by tugging it hard until it releases. Any shells that are open just need a tap to work out if they are alive or not. If they close up then they are good to use; otherwise discard.
Heat a saucepan big enough to fit the mussels (that has a tight-fitting lid) over a medium heat. Add the oil, fennel and shallot and a big pinch of salt. Stir and sweat for about 10 minutes.
Add the 'nduja, garlic, and mix well so it doesn't catch.
Add the mussels and the wine and give them a really good shake. Put the lid on and leave for a few minutes, or until the majority of mussels have opened up. Using a slotted spoon, divide the mussels between two plates, keeping the remaining sauce over a high heat. Discard any mussels that do not open. Add the cream to the sauce and taste. Season as required and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.