While the time-honored way of cooking mussels is the Belgians’ love of using white wine, some more contemporary takes have shifted towards substituting with tomatoes in all forms and consistencies, with a few throwing in the chilli for the Asian influence.
My happy marriage of these sources of inspiration gives a deeply flavoursome tangy broth in which the al dente mussels gleefully swim, making it perfect for days when you just want a quick to prepare meal that is still sumptuously scrumptious with lazy but hearty quenches of ice cold beer.
1 kg fresh raw mussels, washed and bearded
750 ml passata
375 ml white wine
45 g fresh basil, finely chopped
40 g fresh coriander leaves & stems, roughly chopped
4.5 tangerines – zest and juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
75 g butter
1.5 large onions, finely diced
Crack black pepper
- Melt the butter in a deep pot.
- Sautee the onions in the butter, over medium heat, till they are soft.
- Stir in the passata, white wine, basil, tangerine zest and juice as well as brown sugar.
- Bring the passata mixture to the boil.
- Add the mussels and bring the mixture back to the boil.
- As the mussels begin to open, stir till all the shellfish are that way, discarding any that remains shut.
- Turn off the heat and taste the broth; seasoning with salt if needed.
- Stir ¾ of the coriander through the mussels in the broth.
- Generously season with crack black pepper.
- Immediately serve, garnished with the remaining coriander and accompanied with warm generously buttered slices of crusty baguette.