Mussels in a Rich Tomato White Wine Sauce


Date Published: Aug 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, appetizers, <15mins, healthy, low-cal,
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Travelling around Australia has really reinvigorated our love for mussels. We’ve hugged the coast throughout our travels and there is so much fresh seafood on offer around this beautiful country! We never skip an opportunity to visit a seafood farm, especially one with mussels. Mussels are traditionally offered in two ways: a white wine garlic broth or a tomato based sauce. This is where Toby and I differ in opinions – I’ve always loved the white wine option whereas Toby will no doubt choose the tomato base.

I’m still working on making the best leek and white wine mussels recipe, but today I finally perfected the BEST tomato sauce base and I’m so excited to add it to the collection and share it with everyone! We’ve had a LOT of mussels in tomato sauce throughout our travels (once I ate mussels every day for 5 days – srsly), some were better than others, but our all time favourite style was served in Cervantes, Western Australia, where they had a spicy rich tomato sauce that was so different from a classic thin tomato broth. The thick sauce was so flavourful and delicious that we came back the next day and ordered it again. I’m so happy to finally be able to recreate that dish. This recipe achieves the thick and rich tomato sauce and you can adjust it to make it as mild or spicy as you like. The original recipe is from Bar Alto on the Gourmet Traveller, but with a few changes to make it the mussel recipe of my dreams.

What is Polpa?

One of the main contributors to this thick and rich tomato sauce is Polpa, which is finely chopped tomatoes in a can. It’s finer and thicker than regular diced tomatoes, and some say it’s higher quality and tend to be sweeter. The most common brand of polpa in Australia groceries is Mutti and they come in a few different varieties and flavours. I’ve used the basic one in this recipe (see photo). If you can’t find polpa in your store, just use regular diced tomatoes in a can.

The recipe also uses fresh roma tomatoes, blanched and diced with the skin removed. It’s not super important to remove the skin, but when you simmer diced tomatoes, the skin tends to peel off in the sauce and curl into little fibrous pieces which is still completely fine to eat, but it just adds a little extra texture and takes a little longer for the tomatoes to break down. It’s worth the extra few minutes and effort to remove the skin.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chili, finely chopped (deseed it if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine (ie. Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1kg live mussels, washed and debearded
  • 1 can (400g) polpa tomato (or chopped canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Serve with some crusty bread for dipping

Directions:

Prepare the tomatoes: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cut a cross at the base of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin starts to peel off (~1-2 mins). Place the tomatoes in an ice bath or under cold running water and peel off the skin. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and set aside.

Cook the mussels: In a pot on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the garlic and chili for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the white wine and mussels. Stir and put the lid on. Cook the mussels for 4-5 mins until they all open up. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon and remove the mussels and divide it evenly amongst two serving bowls, reserving the liquid in the pot.

Make the sauce: Add the chopped peeled roma tomatoes from step 1, a can of polpa tomato, and paprika to the reserved liquid in the pot. Mix and turn the heat up to HIGH. Let the sauce simmer and evaporate until you get a thick tomato sauce (~5 mins). Mix in the chopped parsley and basil and season salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and divide the sauce evenly over the cooked mussels. Serve with toasted crusty bread. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Mussels in a Rich Tomato White Wine Sauce

Date Published: Aug 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, appetizers, <15mins, healthy, low-cal,
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chili, finely chopped (deseed it if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine (ie. Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1kg live mussels, washed and debearded
  • 1 can (400g) polpa tomato (or chopped canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Serve with some crusty bread for dipping

Directions:

  1. Prepare the tomatoes: Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cut a cross at the base of each tomato. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water until the skin starts to peel off (~1-2 mins). Place the tomatoes in an ice bath or under cold running water and peel off the skin. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Cook the mussels: In a pot on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the garlic and chili for 1 minute until fragrant. Add in the white wine and mussels. Stir and put the lid on. Cook the mussels for 4-5 mins until they all open up. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon and remove the mussels and divide it evenly amongst two serving bowls, reserving the liquid in the pot.
  3. Make the sauce: Add the chopped peeled roma tomatoes from step 1, a can of polpa tomato, and paprika to the reserved liquid in the pot. Mix and turn the heat up to HIGH. Let the sauce simmer and evaporate until you get a thick tomato sauce (~5 mins). Mix in the chopped parsley and basil and season salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and divide the sauce evenly over the cooked mussels. Serve with toasted crusty bread. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s