1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 1 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
1 cup onions, chopped 1/4-inch
3 pounds mussels, cultivated (if uncultivated, scrub well and de-beard)
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1. In a deep, heavy pot, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and sautй, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute.
2. Add mussels, wine, thyme, bay leaves, and saffron with water. Season lightly with pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally to cook mussels evenly, just until they open, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Remove mussels to warm shallow bowls, discarding any that do not open. Strain cooking liquid.
4. Add cooking liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add remaining olive oil, parsley, and basil. Boil until slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes.
5. Spoon sauce over mussels and serve hot with crusty bread.