Steamed Mussels + Wine

Steamed mussels might be the easiest one pot dinner possible. A little wine, some tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil go into a Dutch oven or stock pot large enough to hold the mussels.  After a few minutes of simmering, the mussels are open and ready to soak up the sauce.  French fries are a traditional side accompaniment.  But, so is a Belgian beer.

PS: this piece of paper should accompany the bag of mussels; it is usually attached to the bag. The paper tells the harvest location, harvest date, type of shellfish, and shipping date. It also tells the name of the seafood distributor and where the shellfish was sold. I bought these mussels from a farmer's market.

Steamed Mussels
yield: one (entree) or two (first course)

Note: mussels that do not open after cooking should not be eaten.

2 pounds mussels, washed and free of any black fibers or beards
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red or white wine
1/4 tomato sauce
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste if needed

Pour the olive oil into a medium size stock pot and heat until the oil shimmers.  Add the wine and tomato sauce and heat until simmering, 2-3 minutes.

Add the mussels to the pot and cover with a lid.  Increase the heat to medium high. Cook the mussels for 4-6 minutes. Stir them once or twice during cooking. 

Remove the mussels from the pot and transfer to a bowl. Pour the wine and tomato sauce over the mussels. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy immediately. Use a second bowl for the empty shells.

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