DemosNews: Mussels in Rich Tomato Sauce, Canberra Australia
Mussels in Rich Tomato Sauce, Canberra Australia
By: John Maxwell

1 large tin of Italian tomatoes*
Tomato paste – one small sachet
1 large red or brown onion
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
Olive oil – 1/3 cup or more
Generous bunch of broad leaf parsley
1 tspn dried oregano (or 1 tbspn fresh leaves finely chopped)
Black peppercorns, freshly ground
Salt
Sugar

* quantities per large tin, can be increased proportionally depending on numbers. This should be enough for 3 people. Any excess sauce can be frozen for pasta.

Method:
• Chop onions fine.
• Sweat onions in olive oil in heavy base pot. Be generous with the olive oil – don’t hesitate to add an extra slurp. It won’t hurt the result and it’s good for you!
• Finely chop garlic – I like more rather than less so feel free to add more. Add to the onions and olive oil & allow to sweat more. But do not let it go brown or burn!
• Tip contents of tin of tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze all the tomatoes through your fingers till no lumps remain. If you are namby-pamby use a mouli.
• Pour tomatoes and all the liquid into the pot with the onions, stir well and bring to a rolling simmer.
• Add a sachet of tomato paste (or a few squirts from a tube) to give the flavour more punch.
• Stir in oregano, the finely chopped stalks from the parsley, setting aside the leaves for later).
• Grind in a good amount of fresh black pepper.
• Add salt to taste, +/- 1 level tspn. Careful not too much, as we add some of the mussel liquid later and it will be salty!
• Add 1 tspn of sugar.
• Now leave to simmer on low until some of the liquid tomato water evaporates and the sauce thickens slightly. Stir from time to time so that the pulp doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pot.
• Taste from time to time till you are satisfied. All this can be prepared well in advance of the mussels.

Now the mussels:
• Make sure mussels are ready, cleaned and scrubbed.
• Pour 50/50 water and white wine into a larger steamer – an inch in the bottom should be enough. Get it boiling and tip the mussels into the basket.
• Steam open the mussels and immediately transfer to a large dish.
• Discard top shell and distribute mussels with bottom shell equally into serving bowls.
• Add some of the mussel liquid and the white wine/water steaming liquid to the tomato sauce. If time permits you can reduce the mussel water to intensify the flavour. But don’t add too much to the tomato mix or the sauce will be too thin. Stir in and make sure it comes back to a simmer.
• Pour sauce over the mussels in serving bowls and sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.
• Tuck in! Make sure there is plenty of thick chunks of crusty Italian bread at hand to soak up the sauce.

© 2022 John Maxwell of DemosNews

October 12, 2007 at 7:13pm
DemosRating: 4.67
Hits: 1318

Genre: Food (Recipes)
Type: Creative
Tags: seafood, pasta, sauce

Kate Collins   What a smart idea to pop open the mussels and arrange them o...
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