When you need a meal in a hurry, turn to shellfish: most kinds (mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp) only need 10 minutes to cook. In this recipe, mussels are steamed in a fragrant sauce seasoned with shallots, tomatoes, saffron, and paprika. Serve with crusty bread for mopping the broth, a crisp green salad, and a glass of chilled white wine. It's a luxurious meal that won't break the bank — perfect for ringing in the weekend!

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Mussels With Sherry, Saffron, and Paprika

Mussels With Sherry, Saffron, and Paprika

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots (4 to 5 large)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup dry Sherry
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
3 dozen mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add Sherry, tomatoes with juice, paprika, and saffron; sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; boil gently 3 minutes to blend flavors. Add mussels and half of parsley; cover and cook until mussels open, about 3 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open). Stir in remaining parsley.
  4. Divide mussels and juices among bowls and serve.

Serves 2.