Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mussels In Red Sauce

I hope you enjoy this mussel dish as much as we did. I've been trying to find a good recipe for mussels in red sauce and hope to soon create my own because this is my daughter's favorite meal. This recipe was a great starter and she gave it two thumbs up! It tasted fresh and was easy to make. 

Mussel Soup (Zuppa de Cozze)  
From Angela's Italian & Sicilian Recipes (easy printable version, a little different from below, though, can be found here).  I named it Mussels In Red Sauce because that's what my daughter likes to calls it.

2 lbs mussels
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, (I minced mine)
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 large ripe tomatoes (I used one 28 oz can whole tomatoes but fresh will be really nice when garden tomatoes are available. For fresh tomato instructions, go to link above.)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (loosely packed)
6 basil leaves (I chopped them)
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper, optional (I added)
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt

Scrub mussels clean, pull off beards, if any. Our mussels were pretty clean already by the fishmonger, making this part a breeze.

Dice onions and mince garlic. Saute onions in a little olive oil until translucent in a stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook through.

Add wine, canned tomatoes with juice (break up tomatoes with hands first), pepper, crushed chili pepper and heat to a gentle boil.

Add mussels, cover pot and steam until mussels open. It doesn't take long for them to open. Check mussels in a few minutes and gently stir. Cover and check again in a few minutes. Remove from heat when all mussels are open.

Gently stir in parsley and basil (the recipe I followed left out the basil from the instructions. Since it's fresh, I added the basil at the end). Add salt to taste. This recipe served all four of us.

Use an Italian loaf or French baguette, extra virgin olive oil, and about 3-4 garlic cloves, halved.
To make bruschetta: Slice the bread to accommodate servings. Brush a little olive oil over one side of each slice. Lay slices out on a baking sheet. Toast until lightly brown under the broiler or your preferred method. Rub garlic halves over each slice.

After we eat our first mussel, we like to use a mussel shell as our spoon!


  1. That really is the perfect sauce for mussels... I used to love the garlic butter, but the red sauce has become my favorite. Delicious!

  2. I'll bet it's a hundred times better than Bertucci's!! ;)

  3. I use mussel shells as spoons too! Mussels are so good - this reminds me that I really should make them at home more often!

  4. I made them just today, to try it for the first time:)) it wasn't soup but rather a sauce..I am still not big fan, but my kids and hubby just cant get enough of it hahha
    You did fantastic job...I am loving your photos!!!

  5. We are big "mussels" fans in this family, as in clams, shrimp, scallops...lots of shellfish. We get the freshest from our local fish market, and sometimes go to the docks when the fisherman come back from the fishing, they will sell, and clean the fish for you.

    Love this sauce, Lin Ann...I make it this way, as well, with white wine and fresh chopped tomatoes, plenty of juice to mop up the great crunchy bread. Love your take on it, and also the photos, as well!!!