Ingredients:

3-1/2 to 4 lb. mussels
4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or any other crisp, herbal white wine
1 bottle clam broth
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Good-quality crusty bread, sliced or torn into pieces, for serving

Directions:

1. Rinse the mussels well under cold water. Pick them over, pulling off any beards and discarding any mussels that are broken or gaping open.

2. In a large pot with a lid, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant and soft but not colored, 3 to 5 minutes. (IF YOU BURN THE GARLIC, START OVER!)

3. Add the mussels, wine, clam broth, and half of the parsley into the pot. Increase the heat to high, and cover the pot. After 2 minutes, remove the lid and toss the mussels well with a large spoon. Cover the pot again and cook until the mussels have opened wide, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining parsley, give the mussels a final toss, and divide the mussels and the broth among bowls.

Serve with crusty bread!

Serves 6-8 as a first course.