Steamed Mussels

Serves 4 when tossed with spaghetti, or 2 just in the broth 

1 cup fish or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons butter 

1 cup thinly sliced fennel

1 cup cherry tomatoes, or diced red tomatoes 

4 cloves garlic, minced  

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 pounds live mussels

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

In a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium high heat, bring stock, buttter, fennel, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, to a simmer. Add mussels, toss with the broth mixture, and cover. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the shells open. Discard any mussels that do not open. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve alone with some crusty bread or garlic flatbread, or tossed with 1lb spaghetti cooked al dente in salted water.