Mussels are amazing things, they are cheap, quick to cook and remind me of holidays spent by the sea. This easy recipe is perfect when you don’t feel like meat and you can’t bare to spend so much money on fish.
500 g shelled mussels, scrubbed and debearded
500 g mussel meat, defrosted
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bunch of fresh Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1 bottle of passta (tomato puree)
1 tin of whole Italian tomatoes
1 tsp of sugar/xylitol
180 ml fish stock or chicken stock
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Robertson’s Italian herbs
1 glass of white wine
For the chili toast:
1/2 french loaf
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 extra fresh french loaf, for scooping up the extra sauce
1 large pot, or wok
1 baking tray
Food processor with blade attachment
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
In the food processor, place the onions, garlic and the stems of the parsley. Place the large pot/wok on high-heat and add the olive oil. Wait a couple of seconds until the oil has warmed up and add the chopped ingredients.
Cook until the onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, this will take about 5 minutes. Then add the wine and cook for a further 2 minutes, add the stock and boil for 3 minutes. Then add the passata, tinned tomatoes and sugar, cook for 25 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
Turn the oven onto grill.
Once the sauce has been cooking for 20 minutes, cut the french loaf into 5 cm thick slices and place them in the baking tray, add the olive oil, crushed garlic, chili flakes, and some sea salt; shake the tray around until all the ingredients have coated the bread. Place the tray in the oven and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until it has turned into toast.
While the bread is in the oven, place all the mussels into the sauce and cook for 3 minutes. I brought half shelled mussels, however if you prefer whole mussels, cook until the shells open, discard any that do not open. Add the ground pepper and taste to see if the the sauce needs salt. As soon as you are about to serve place the quartered lemons and fresh parsley on top of the sauce.
Serve with the chili toast and fresh french loaf.