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Top Rated Mussels Marinara Recipes
This garlicky, addictive dish is best served with crusty bread or a bowl of pasta. I personally prefer placing pieces of bread at the bottom of my bowl and spooning the sauce and mussels on top. That way, the bread soaks in the flavorful tomato sauce, softening the hard crust to make that perfect balance of crunchy and squishy (in a good way). To make this dish extra garlicky, I roasted garlic while making my sauce and spread it on the toasted bread right before serving.
Easy Mussels Marinara
If you’re a mussels fan, here’s one of the best ways to prepare them: mussels marinara! This Italian-inspired dish is often on restaurant menus. But unlike most restaurant food, it’s seriously easy to recreate at home! Alex and I love traveling in Italy, and the bold flavors in this mussels marinara transported us right to the Amalfi Coast. Mussels are simmered in a tangy marinara sauce, scented with basil and garlic. After they’ve soaked up the marinara flavor, they’re served over al dente bucatini pasta. And, it takes under 30 minutes to prepare! It works both for a romantic date night in or a fancy Italian dinner party. Ready to get started?
- 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 lemon - cut into wedges, for garnish
Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the linguine, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in diced tomatoes and green onion cook and stir until the tomatoes have softened. Stir onion mixture into the tomatoes, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in mussels and shrimp, then pour in the wine and lemon juice. Cover and increase heat to high. Cook until shrimp have turned pink and mussels have opened, discarding any that have not opened. Serve over pasta and garnish with lemon wedges.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped tomato
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 pounds fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded (about 100 mussels)
- 5 cups hot cooked linguine (about 10 ounces uncooked pasta)
- Basil sprigs (optional)
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic sauté 3 minutes. Add tomato and next 7 ingredients (tomato through bay leaves) cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Add mussels cover and cook 10 minutes or until mussels open. Discard bay leaves and any unopened shells. Remove mussels with a slotted spoon, and divide into 5 individual shallow bowls. Spoon tomato mixture over mussels. Serve over linguine. Garnish with basil sprigs, if desired.
Mussels Marinara or Fra Diavolo
- ▢ 1/4 cup olive oil
- ▢ 4 - 5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- ▢ 1 cup dry crisp white wine, such as a Pinot Grigio
- ▢ 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand
- ▢ pinch of sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper
- ▢ about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if you'd like Fra Diavolo
- ▢ 4 pounds mussels I use Prince Edward Island Mussels
- ▢ 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
- ▢ 1 baguette warmed, for serving
You'll want crusty bread for sopping up this San Francisco fish stew.
You can also make this dish with littleneck or cherrystone clams instead of mussels.
Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.
- 8 ounces linguine, uncooked
- 1 pound fresh, farm-raised mussels
- 2 cups low-fat chunky pasta sauce
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
While pasta cooks, rinse mussels in cold water remove beards on mussels, and scrub shells with a brush. Discard opened or cracked mussels. Combine mussels, pasta sauce, and red pepper flakes in a large deep skillet. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat cook 5 minutes or until mussels open. (Discard any unopened mussels.)
Place 3/4 cup drained pasta into each of 4 bowls. Top evenly with mussels and sauce sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.
I think when most people envision Paris, they imagine cobblestone streets, cute sidewalk cafes, a French garçon warmly encouraging them in with an enthusiastic “Bonjour!” There may be a little background music played on an accordion, a bicyclist riding past them with a beret. At least that’s how I always imagined Paris.
When I traveled to Paris for the first time, I was shocked to find that it was exactly as I had imagined (except maybe not so many men with berets). While this type of scenario exists in most parts of Paris, I found it especially true in the Place du Tertre in Montmarte, right next to the Sacre Coeur church.
You’ll find something that looks like it’s straight out of a postcard. The area is home to musicians, artists, and creative types. The square, though small, is also not short on quintessential Parisian cafes. Many of these cafes are packed with hungry locals and tourists alike, and feature more than just your typical steak frites (steak and fries) or confit de canard (duck) fresh mussels are a speciality in the area.
Mussels are not a rarity elsewhere in Paris, but they seem to particularly be a star in the Montmartre area. They’re often served in a white wine broth, sometimes made with a simple garlic infused mixture, other times with flavorful marinara.
For a long time, I imagined mussels to be a laborious task. The reality is that they’re actually one of the easiest foods to whip up, especially if you use a delectable pre-made marinara sauce like this Mezzetta Tomato and Sweet Basil sauce.
Now, you guys know that I usually make my own marinara sauce because I’m all about using all natural foods. These days, a lot of companies will claim they’ve got some “all natural” product, but the product is usually anything but. In this case, I accepted Mezzetta’s offer to try their #FallforFlavor selection of Napa Valley marinara sauces after looking at the label and finding that the sauces are actually all natural.
Read the label and you’ll find normal ingredients that are in no shape or form foreign-sounding or incomprehensible. They’re also made without any added sugar or paste, which is really important to me. Having a sauce like this to turn to when I’m short on time and/or energy is a big perk for me because I don’t always have the capability to make marinara from scratch.
There are a variety of flavors to choose from, but I decided to stick to Mezzetta’s Tomato and Sweet Basil sauce because, hello, I love basil! Plus, I feel like its flavor works best in this dish.
Mussels with a marinara sauce like this are such a convenient entertaining option. There are days where I know I’ll be working later than usual, but for the sake of winding down at the end of the night and maintaining my social life, I invite family and friends over regardless of my long work day.
Because I know I’ll be tired and short on time, I rely on quick and easy recipes like this. A bottle of wine, a big bowl of mussels in marinara, and my balcony view always have my friends responding to invites like this with a resounding yes.
If you’ve made mussels before, you might not think of it as a quick and easy meal because of the initial cleaning that needs to be done with fresh mussels. But there’s a really helpful workaround to this, which is to add a heaping spoonful of flour to a bowl of cold water and let the mussels soak in the bowl. The mussels feed on the flour and release their sand and grit. In addition, the mussels become more plump and juicy win-win!
While they soak, you simply sauté some onion and garlic in a little bit of butter and olive oil until translucent. Add some white wine (maybe drink some too), and cook until the wine is reduced. Then it’s just time to add the full-flavored Tomato and Sweet Basil sauce to the pan. The mussels will cook in this sauce while simultaneously opening up their shells – an approximate 10 minute reveal.
The marinara sauce that the mussels are cooked in is appetizingly sweet, but in that refined way that only properly harvested tomatoes can do. The flavor of garlic is pronounced, especially with the garlic bread that is served on the side they’re a welcome source of heat in the dish to complement the sweet sauce and the ethereal taste of the black mussels.
The mussels are plump, soft, and slightly chewy they’ve got that naturally brined flavor just from their sheer existence in sea water and being so fresh. The natural brine with the pinch of salt and spices in the marinara sauce provide the dish its savory notes, which are all too addictive. The parsley on top and the chilled chardonnay served on the side are the vibrant finishing touches to complete this truly effervescent meal.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 1 basil sprig
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- One 28-ounce can tomato puree, preferably Italian
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- Chopped parsley, for serving
- Crusty bread, for serving
Make the Sauce
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, basil, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine, tomato paste and a generous pinch of sugar and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and bring just to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Make the Mussels
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shallot, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels open, 3 to 5 minutes discard any mussels that do not open. Season lightly with salt, then transfer the mussels and sauce to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve right away with crusty bread.
Seafood, like these Mussels Fra Diavolo, on Christmas Eve is a holiday family tradition. But you can also make this anytime you’re craving mussels or seafood in your life. This can be served as an appetizer with bread for dipping or over pasta as a main dish or even over zoodles to keep it low carb.
Some of my other favorite ways to make mussels are Steamed Mussels with Piri Piri Sauce and Mussels in Basil Cream Sauce.
When I make this, I usually use my own homemade marinara sauce (I never use jarred sauce) when I make this, but I tried this with Delallo’s Pomodoro Fresco and I have to say I was very impressed, and so was my husband! It tastes just like my homemade sauce and this dish came together in less than 15 minutes.
If you’ve never made mussels before, you’ll be surprised how easy this dish is. The mussels should be alive when you purchase and cook them. Any mussels that are cracked should be discarded, and any mussels that don’t open after cooking should also be tossed.