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Mussels Fra Diavalo
Photo © Madeleine Hill

Mussels Fra Diavalo

  • ACTIVE: 25 MIN

F&W contributing editor Andrew Zimmern recommends using plump, wild Mediterranean mussels from Maine or Penn Cove mussels from the Pacific Northwest in this recipe. Simple and elegant, it’s a classic summer dish that is best served with lots of crusty bread for dipping.

Slideshow: Mussels


  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 medium onion, minced
  3. 1 basil sprig
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  9. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  10. Sugar
  11. One 28-ounce can tomato puree, preferably Italian
  12. Pepper


  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup minced shallot
  3. 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  4. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  5. 1 cup dry white wine
  6. 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  7. Chopped parsley, for serving
  8. Crusty bread, for serving
  1. MAKE THE SAUCE In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, basil, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomato paste and a generous pinch of sugar and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and bring just to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  2. MAKE THE MUSSELS In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shallot, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels open, 3 to 5 minutes; discard any mussels that do not open. Season lightly with salt, then transfer the mussels and sauce to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve right away with crusty bread.
Make Ahead The tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


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