Steamed Mussels in White Wine and Tomato Sauce

Serves 2-3

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 cups tomato sauce (recipe below)

2 pounds mussels, scrubbed



Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a large, heavy pot (I used a 5.5 quart Le Creuset) 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.


For the tomato sauce…



3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon sugar (optional), or to taste



Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


Cook onions and garlic in oil in a 2- to 4-quart heavy ovenproof saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.


Add tomatoes, including juice, and salt, then cover and put in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours, stirring and mashing tomatoes with a fork occasionally, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 3 cups.


If sauce tastes too acidic, add sugar and cook 5 minutes more.