Mussels in Tomato-Garlic Sauce

21 Mar

I count myself really lucky to have a great relationship with the seafood store in my ‘hood (Avenue Road Seafood). It doesn’t take much: just show up and ask a question or two and you’ll feel like you have a great friend in there who will never lead you astray. I popped in on Saturday and ordered two pounds of mussels. I got an enthusiastic, “No problem!” and a few minutes later had a bag of beautiful, already-cleaned mussels on ice. (I wasn’t going to cook them til the next day. It’s best to keep them on ice if you’re not cooking them right away. NOT in water.)

As always, if you find a mussel that’s open before you cook it, discard it. If you find a closed one after it’s been cooked, discard it.

I used a decent amount of chili flakes in my recipe, but feel free to cut back if that’s not your thing.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

3 tb canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tb parsley, chopped
2 c canned tomatoes w/ thick puree* (I actually used leftover tomato sauce that was in the fridge, but this will work!)
1 ts dried thyme
2 ts chili flakes or to taste
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts black pepper
2 lbs mussels, cleaned

Directions

1. Heat the oil to medium heat in a large pot with a tightly-fitting lid. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft.
2. Add in the tomatoes/sauce, parsley, thyme, chili flakes,  salt and pepper. Stir together, reduce the heat and cover, simmering for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Turn up the heat a bit and add the  mussels. Cover the pot and let them cook for 7-9 minutes, shaking up the pot occasionally.
4. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the tasty liquid in the bowl – don’t let any of that go to waste!

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