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Monday, 2 July 2012

Mussels in Marinara Sauce

Recipe as Seen in Ahlan Gourmet June 2012, and on Ahlan Live.
Click here for this recipe in Arabic

Mussels in Marinara Sauce
Dunk that bread in the sauce and taste the heavenly goodness

One of my all-time favourite meals is Mussels in Spicy Marinara Sauce. I like this concoction because it is very fast and easy to prepare, yet utterly delightful. The deep, rich and spicy marinara sauce is just perfect for dunking a piece of baguette to soak it up. Every piece offers a moist, spicy, flavoursome bite with affirmative hints of the sea and a light note of sweetened acidity from the tomatoes and wine. The softened baguette’s texture compliments the slight chew of the mussels... Each bite is an absolute indulgence!

Read on for the recipe....

The super fast, super easy, yet utterly
delightful Mussels in Marinara Sauce
Mussels in Spicy Marinara Sauce, is one of the first foods I learnt to cook. My mum frequently cooked white fish fillets in this sauce - and since mussels are a favourite seafood of mine – I thought why not cook the mussels in it instead of the fillets! It came out excellent and made its way in to my best-loved recipes category. I often make this dish, especially when entertaining. Everyone loves it and I am always showered with compliments when serving this Mussels recipe. It can be served with a side of chips or over pasta, but I always go for the baguette!

This recipe was featured in the May issue of Ahlan Gourmet. If you had missed it then, here you go and make sure to give it a try, you are going to love it. This recipe includes red wine, but you can substitute the wine with fish stock, or fresh red grapes juice in the same amount, or even half the amount of red grape vinegar for an alcohol free version.

TIP If you use wine, or grape juice there is no need to add sugar to the tomatoes. If you go for the vinegar or fish stock options, add 1 tsp sugar to the tomatoes to balance out the acidity.

Mussels in Spicy Marinara Sauce Recipe You Need
500g fresh mussels
2 tbsp EV olive oil
8 ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 small green chillies, finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 heaped tsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine / or 150 ml fresh fish stock
1 tsp sugar (read tip above)
Salt & Black pepper to taste
Fresh Basil Chiffonade for garnish

Start by cleaning the mussels: scrub each one with a brush under running water to remove any dirt or seaweed. De-beard the mussels, rinse with water and set aside in a bowl of salted cold water. When tapping the tops of the mussels they should close. Discard the ones that don’t close as they are already dead. 
(For detailed instructions on how to choose, clean and prepare fish or shellfish follow this link)

These Mussels in Marinara Sauce are spicy, but you can go for a non spicy version
by simply omitting the chilies but if you are into spicy the extra kick here is very appetising
Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and gently cook the chopped onion, sliced garlic and chopped green chillies until the onions and garlic become soft and translucent. Add the peeled chopped tomatoes and stir to mix. Add the wine or fish stock and tomato paste. Stir all to incorporate. Season to taste. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer - stirring occasionally - for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, steam your mussels for about 3 minutes or until they are all open. (Discard the ones that did not open). Remove them from heat. Add the steamed mussels to the reduced marinara sauce and fold to mix. Place all in a serving dish, and sprinkle with fresh basil Chiffonade.

These Mussels in Marinara Sauce can also be served in Cocktail Parties! Read below

You can serve these Mussels at cocktail parties too!
All you need to do is separate the shells after steaming. Add the mussels without the shells to the marinara sauce and fold to coat with the tomatoes. wash and towel dry the shells. Place them on the serving platter. Right before serving, scoop out 1 tsp full of the marinara sauce with 1 mussel per shell and place in the cleaned dried shells on the serving platter. Garnish with the basil Chiffonade. Pass around, where guests will treat it as an oyster, slerping down the mussel and sauce, and returning the shell to the empty plate.

Hope you liked this post and that you will really give it a try, I am telling you, you will be glad you did ;) Come back again soon for more, and do leave me a comment before you go, I always love to hear from you.
Stay Tuned for the Ramadan Special: Daily Ramadan Recipes.

Have a delicious day every one :)