12 oz. spaghetti or linguine
1 - 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fish broth -or- bottled clam juice -or- chicken stock
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons dry bread crumbs (packaged variety is fine, or toast some fresh bread crumbs)
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the mussels and sauce: In a heavy 3/4 quart pan, heat the oil, and add the mussels, garlic and wine...cover and cook until the mussels open, shaking every so often to keep the garlic from sticking and burning. This should take about 5 minutes or so. Place a colander over another pan, one that is large enough to also hold the pasta, and strain the mussels...put the mussels back into the first pan, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
Place the pan with the mussel cooking liquid over medium-low heat, and add the butter, broth (or clam juice), milk and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste, bring just to the simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, but leave the pan on the stove.
When the pasta is done, drain it, and add it to the sauce, toss well, and let sit, covered, for a minute or so.
To serve, either put all the pasta in a large serving dish, and arrange the mussels, in their shells, on top...or put some spaghetti on individual dinner plates and top with some of the mussels. Makes about 4 servings.