First posted: May 31, 2010

Mussels in Tomato, Chilli and Basil Sauce


I ended up cooking mussels two ways the other night because, gripped by indecision, I could not choose between a Mediterranean version in a tomato-based sauce, or a more rustic French recipe with white wine. They both equally deserved their moment in the spotlight, so I was left with little choice but to indulge their little nagging voices. In case you’re wondering, Rob took having two different meals for dinner perfectly in his stride.



Cooks in:        Serves:2

  • 200g pasta
  • 250g Mussels (de-bearded)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
 or olive oil
  • Half tsp dried chilli seeds or 1 fresh chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion/shallot, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp basil pesto and handful fresh basil leaves
  • S+P to taste

What to do

1. In a large pot on high, cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

2. Rinse the mussels under cool water in a colander and set aside.

3. In a medium-sized pot or pan, heat the butter and fry the chilli, garlic and onion until golden. Add the tomatoes and basil pesto as well as a generous pinch of salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, stir as needed.

4. Add the lemon juice and mussels to the pan and cover with a lid on for 1 minute.

5. Your pasta should be done by now, drain drizzle with olive oil and add to the mussels and sauce in the pan. Mix everything together gently so the pasta is coated in the sauce, then serve into two warmed bowls. Tear over a few roughly chopped basil leaves.

*Delicious with a slice of crusty bread if you are feeding a crowd.

Round Two was French-Bistro Style Mussels in a Creamy White Wine Sauce...

Picture from 'Home' by Warren Heath.

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