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fresh mussels

Fresh Mussels in a Spicy Tomato & Garlic Broth


A fragrant and spicy tomato broth with fresh mussels. Serve with ciabatta for mopping up that flavour!

  • Serves: 8 |
    8 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 60 mins |
  • Cook Time : 60 mins
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3 kg mussels, in the shells
8 C (2 litres) water
350 ml good quality white wine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3/5 C (150 ml) olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 green chillies, finely chopped
2 x 800 g tins whole tomatoes in tomato juice
1 bay leaf
salt and milled black pepper
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) sugar

To Serve

1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
slices of fresh or toasted ciabatta

Wash and de-beard the mussels. Heat the water and half of the wine in a large pot. Add one-third of the garlic and bring to a boil. Add the mussels to the pot and cook for about 15 minutes.

Remove the mussels from the pot and discard any that haven’t opened. You can opt to remove the mussel meat from the shells or leave as is and serve the mussel meat in half shells. Strain the liquid off but keep about 2 C (500 ml)of mussel stock for the sauce.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onions, chillies and remaining garlic and fry until the onion is soft. Blend the tomatoes with a stick blender and then add to the onion mixture. Slowly bring to a boil and add then the remaining wine. Add the bay leaf, seasoning and the reserved mussel stock. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 30 minutes. Check the seasoning and add a little sugar to the sauce if necessary; add 1 teaspoon first and then adjust if need be. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce, add the mussels and cook for about 5 minutes.

Serve the mussels in large bowls, garnished with chopped parsley. Serve fresh or toasted ciabatta on the side. A leafy green salad and French fries also complement this dish.