Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups Red Sauce or Fra Diavlo Sauce, recipes follow
- 3 pounds medium mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 2 (35-ounce) cans plum tomatoes in juice
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 head (about 12 medium cloves) garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 medium onions (about 12 ounces), cut in 1/4-inch dice
- 2 medium carrots (about 8 ounces), cut in 1/4-inch dice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 2 cups Red Sauce, recipe above
- 1 (8-ounce) bottle clam juice
- Kosher or sea salt
- Variation: Fra Diavolo Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper, and saute until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and tomato sauce, increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil.
Add the mussels and replace the lid. Cook over high heat 3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir once gently. Continue to cook until the mussels are completely open and firmly cooked, about 4 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the mussels gently from the pot to a large bowl with a Chinese wire mesh skimmer. Return the pot to the heat and increase the heat to high. Boil for a minute or 2, until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve immediately.
Place the canned tomatoes in a large bowl and place your (clean) hands in the bowl and crush the tomatoes so they breakup into a range of small pieces.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is fragrant, but before it smokes, about 40 seconds. Add the bay leaves and stir them in the oil until they begin to brown, about 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until it starts to turn golden brown, then add the onions, carrots, and oregano. Cook the vegetables until they are very brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, just enough to prevent them from scorching.
Add the crushed tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, salt and pepper, and 1 1/2 cups of water, (white wine or clam juice can be added depending on the intended use) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered until the sauce level has reduced by 2 or 3 inches and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Cook the sauce for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.
Remove from heat, cool down in the pot, then when at room temperature, transfer to a sealed plastic container and refrigerate until ready to use.
This sauce will keep 10 days in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator.
Yield: about 2 quarts
Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart saucepan slightly over medium heat and saute the garlic and crushed red pepper until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown, about 40 seconds.
Add the Red Sauce, clam juice, and salt, to taste, and simmer, stirring occasionally over medium-low heat, until the sauce returns to the thickness and quantity of the Red Sauce, about 15 minutes.
Yield: 2 cups
Using my recipe for basic Red Sauce, you can make a quick and spicy "fra diavolo" sauce that is delicious drizzled over grilled squid and other seafood. For equipment you will need a 3-quart saucepan and a wooden spoon.