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Betsy Block

Mussels with Tomato Broth

SERVING SIZE: four for dinner


From Gourmet

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup tomato sauce
4 lb mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed and beards removed


Throw out any opened or broken mussels.

Cook garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and boil over high heat 2 minutes. Add tomato sauce and mussels and cook over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until mussels just open wide, 6 to 8 minutes. (Discard any mussels that are unopened after 8 minutes.) Serve immediately.


Gourmet says: Be sure to buy your mussels the day you make this dish, as they don't keep well at home. Gourmet is right.

I'd meant to follow this recipe to the letter, but then I was visiting with my beloved cousins while BD was prepping dinner, and when I came inside he already had a pot simmering on the stove with an unspecified amount of wine, some herbs and onions. I poured in some olive oil, red pepper flakes and canned tomatoes with their juice, since we didn't have tomato sauce, and it turned out great. In other words, use this as a guideline and feel free to adapt as needed.