Mussels cook quickly and cost less than most other fresh seafood selections, making them the ideal midweek supper option. Always examine each individual mussel to make sure it is closed tightly before cooking; it may seem tedious, but one dead mussel will destroy the entire pot. If they have not been cleaned - you may have to pull the "beard" the stringy seaweedy part off.
This recipe is super simple and adaptable, you can make it as basic or complex as you want. After washing your mussels in cold water, your going to want to prep and chop any herbs or vegetables you want to add. Suggestions: chives, parsley, basil, shallot, and garlic. If you want to keep it simple, you can cook it just in Monte's, cover and simmer.
Your also going to want to cut and toast some bread, a nice baguette and make some toast points to soak up the sauce, or make a pot of pasta to cook in the sauce after you separate the mussels.
Monte’s Tomato Sauce
7 garlic cloves
4 lb. mussels
3 Tbsp. butter
Prep your ingredients before you start cooking: Chop all your herbs, and any ingredients you plan to add.
Rinse 4 lb. mussels in cold water and remove the “beard” (that thread-like piece attached to the side of the shells) by tugging firmly. If any mussels are open and don’t close when tapped, discard. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Heat 3 Tbsp. butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add smashed garlic, shallots and herbs and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until garlic is soft and aromatic.
Add Monte’s Tomato Sauce, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, uncovered, to allow flavors to meld, about 5 minutes.
Add mussels to pot and stir into tomato mixture. Cover pot and cook, stirring once halfway through, until mussels are opened and fully cooked, 6–8 minutes.
Preheat broiler with rack in top position. Cut ½ baguette in half lengthwise and toast, cut sides up, directly on oven rack, until bread is golden across the surface, about 1 minute. Let cool.
When mussels are opened, uncover and remove from heat. Ladle into shallow bowls along with tomato mixture. Top with reserved chopped parsley.
With small forks remove meat from mussels and enjoy, use your toast points so soak up the broth. Bon apettito.