Ever since dining at Granville Moore’s in DC we have been hooked on mussels. They’re actually quite easy to make and you can make them in many different styles. Usually we try to emulate GM’s Moules formage bleu because it is delicious and we have gotten pretty good at making it, but tonight we decided to try our hand at mussels marinara. I had the idea in my head for this dish for the past few days and wanted to try to make a spicy tomato broth. Overall, I am pleased with how they turned out, but our mussels to broth ratio was not exactly what I had in mind. I wanted it to be more brothy and less chunky and the ratio of sauce to mussels was off but it was still a good dinner.
First, the mussels. We bought way too much as always- 2 2lb. bags of live mussels.
The mussels need a good rinse so they can release any sand they have inside.
…and now for the broth. We started off by sauteing some minced garlic in olive oil and adding white wine and seasonings, including red pepper which is optional if you don’t want any heat. We added a large can of crushed tomatoes and made sure to get the temperature really hot.
We have learned from experiece to get the broth very hot (up to a boil) so the mussels can cook quickly. Somehow that soothes the guilt we feel for killing them, but let’s not focus on that! The next step is to add the mussels and stir and stir and stir until they open up. You can also put the lid on to get it nice and hot in there.
(You can see the other bag in the background awaiting a similar fate)
Once they have opened up you can serve them. Just remember that you are not supposed to eat the closed ones!
We served our mussels with some fresh Italian bread so we could soak up the remaining broth.
I seasoned the sliced bread with olive oil (via the misto), italian herbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and baked them in the toaster for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Another alternative to the bread, or in addition to it, would be pasta or rice. Or you can just eat them by themselves, which we have done many times before. We ate this meal as a main course, but it makes a great appetizer as well. Next time we make mussels we will probably return to the formage bleu so you will get to see that as well, hopefully soon!