Mussels Marinara

You might think that my children have refined palates since I am a chef. Think again. For the most part, my children are like most American children with favorite foods including chicken fingers, pizza, and the ubiquitous macaroni and cheese from the blue box. But there is one food that sets them apart from other, non-chef raised children. They love Mussels Marinara.

The dish is so simple to prepare, especially if you have a good fish purveyor who carries impeccably clean mussels. Cleaning the mussels is the longest part of the preparation of this dish. You’ll want to remove the beards (if present) and scrub each mussel under cold running water. Remember to discard any mussels with broken shells and any mussels that don’t close when given a squeeze.

Olive oil, garlic, white wine and canned diced tomatoes create an aromatic broth base. Add a tossed salad and some good crusty bread to dip into the broth and you’ve got a wonderful meal in minutes.

  • 1 1-pound bag live mussels, cleaned and picked over*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes seasoned with oregano, basil and garlic, undrained
Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant, then add white wine and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add the cleaned mussels. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 5 minutes. Stir, cover pot and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until all mussels are open.

Makes 4 appetizer or 2 dinner servings.

*To clean mussels remove beard and scrub with a brush under cold running water. Discard any mussels with cracked or broken shells or those that do not close when pinched lightly.