One thing my brother-in-law and I have in common is our love for all-you-can eat mussels. When it comes to who can put down more bowls of mussels, I’ve got some stiff competition. Almost every time I go to visit him we always go to this restaurant that runs a ‘bottomless mussels’ special on Tuesdays and when they see us walk in they know, IT’S GOING DOWN!
Last time I visited though, I suggested trying our hand at making mussels at home. At the time I had also been craving something with a spicy arrabbiata sauce and I thought the flavours would pair really nicely with mussels. So why not hit two birds with one stone!? Dinner that night came together beautifully, and I loved how well my new mussel recipe turned out. Needless to say, there were ZERO left overs and being a self-proclaimed ‘mussel connoisseur’ I’m definitely giving myself a pat-on-the-back for this one!
To all my seafood lovers out there, this one is for you!
Serves 2 People
4 lbs of fresh mussels – rinse, scrub and debeard. (I usually buy extra because I know that some are going to be bad)
How to buy/store mussels: Smell them, they SHOULD NOT have a strong odour! You also want them to be shut. Since mussels are alive if you bang the shells or apply pressure and close them yourself, if they are alive, they should shut or remain shut. If they open once again right away it means that they are weak/not fresh, so don’t buy those. Make sure to store your mussels in the fridge, they need air to breath so don’t use a sealed container, instead place a damp cloth over them like a napkin or paper towel to provide further moisture. Before you are ready to use them make sure to rinse the shells, remove the beards or hairy bits, and scrub away any debris.
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 small sweet onion - chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1-2 dashes of hot chili flakes (as desired)
2 800g (28oz) cans of peeled tomatoes (Roma / San Marzano)
2 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped roughly
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Fresh Italian Basil
In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, add olive oil and let it heat up on low to medium heat.
Once hot add onion to skillet and let sweat for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally.
Once onion and garlic are translucent add in your chili flakes and continue to cook, 1-2 minutes.
Next, add in your roughly chopped fresh basil and both cans of tomatoes. Chop up any large tomato bits.
Add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly before covering and simmer at a low temperature for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. After 15 minutes add more salt and pepper to desired taste, if needed, then cover and let the sauce continue to simmer.
Place mussels in the skillet or Dutch oven and mix until fully coated in the simmering sauce. Cover and allow mussels to open/cook for 3-5 more minutes
Once all the mussels appear to be open and cooked, place in bowl, garnish with fresh basil and serve!
If you like this recipe or have any comments/questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!