Thursday, 16 February 2012

Cozze a la Pomodoro

It's Valentine's Day. Mussels seem like a good start. I wanted to make something lighter than the creamy Moules Marienere. Years ago I had a bowl at an Italian restaurant, simply prepared with tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine and olive oil. Simple, delicious food is difficult to forget.

Finely chop one medium sized onion
Squash and peel 4 cloves of garlic
Soften both very slowly for 20 - 30 minutes in about 2 tblsp of good olive oil in a large saucepan.
Take a sack of mussels (the net kind that they sell at the fish counter) remove their beards and scrape off any white barnacles. Discard broken ones and tap open shells - if they close then use them - if not then discard.

Take 3 tomatoes, peel the skin and scrape out their seeds. Chop into small chunks.
Take a handful of flat leaf parsley and chop roughly.

Now is the time to put it all together...

Pour a large glass of dry white wine and put it into the pan of onions and garlic - turn up the heat to medium high. Burn off the alcohol and add the tomatoes (if you want a bit of heat - add a chopped chilli)

Gently decant the mussels into the pan and mix with the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Put a lid on and keep stirring every couple minutes. When the mussels have opened it's time to serve.

Serve with some crusty bread and a dry white wine.


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