On their own mussels aren’t really a meal, but they could be with a quick sausage and bean sauce. For 2 pounds of mussels, figure on two sausages, a can of drained white beans and about 12 ounces of your favorite store-bought or fresh tomato sauce.

Using a sharp knife, slice through the casings and slide the meat from the sausages into a hot sauce pan along with some minced shallot and garlic. Use a spatula to break up the meat while it’s cooking.

When it’s cooked through, add the tomato sauce, drained beans and for a little heat, some red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a separate pot, bring 1/2 inch of clam stock or white wine to a boil, drop in the mussels, turn down the heat to medium and cover. After four minutes, pour in the sauce and a handful of chopped parsley.  Give it a gentle stir, cover for another minute, check to see that the mussels are sufficiently cooked and then serve. Grated parmesan is optional.