Quick Mussels - Fra Diavolo

If you and your loved ones truly enjoy ordering a bowl of mussels in a restaurant, then this recipe for Mussels - Fra Diavolo is for you!  Fresh mussels steamed with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, white wine, parsley, crushed red pepper, and whole peeled tomatoes is an exquisite seafood dish, and one you'll be amazed how quick and easy you can make this dish. Mussels Fra Diavolo is a spicy seafood dish and one we enjoy making over and over again.

We're excited to show you how to make an amazing full flavor broth for this seafood dish, and everyone who tastes it - becomes totally hooked and addicted!

My husband loves to make Mussels Fra Diavolo.  He makes the broth, or as he calls it- "the sauce" with a spicy kick to it.  It's so good - it's definitely restaurant-worthy!  And, he loves to invite the entire neighborhood over to eat them too!  Oh yeah.  He does.

When you buy mussels, take a closer look to make sure their shells are closed.  Keep them refrigerated until you are ready to cook them. While rinsing them, discard any mussels you find already open.  Those are no good and should be thrown out.

Mussels Fra Diavolo is fantastic when served with spaghetti as the side. 
Simply toss the spaghetti with the sauce that is made from the mussels. And have some crusty bread near by for dipping because the sauce is so addicting, it's irresistible!

You can make this seafood dish as mild or as spicy, by adding more or less hot pepper to the recipe.

We always enjoy eating a bowl of steamed mussels with family and friends along with a bottle of wine and some crusty bread.  And, with that... comes a lot of conversations flying across the table.  Usually with us....most of the time - it's all at once!


Here's a leftover Tip:  You can freeze any leftover broth/sauce with mussels (discarding all shells) for future use. You may use it for any seafood risotto dish or just add it with some spaghetti.  Just defrost. If you're planning to use it to make risotto, first remove and reserve any remaining mussels and set them aside to add them in last.
No need to over cook the fish.  Use the broth to cook the rice.  Simply simmer the broth before adding to rice, then finish off the cooking by adding in mussels at the end into the risotto.  You may buy additional mussels, steam them, then add to risotto, or serve them as the side.

Quick Mussels - Fra Diavolo

  • 4 to 6 pounds fresh live Mussels in shells- rinsed clean
  • 4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves -sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley- chopped
  • 1 ripe tomato - chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 1- (28 ounce) can Italian whole peeled tomatoes-drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Rinse mussels under cold running water as many times as possible, until you remove most of the sand. Fill a huge pot with cold water again and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes. Using your fingers, pull out any beards that are visible between the shells and discard them.
Transfer mussels into a colander and set aside.
Throw away any mussels that are found open, they are bad and not good to eat.

In the meantime, using a very large sauce pot, heat olive oil and garlic on medium-low heat.  Sauté' garlic until slightly golden.  Add cayenne pepper, ripe tomato and fresh parsley.  Stir for 1 minute.

Open can of plump tomatoes, drain all the liquid and lightly rinse.
Add them into the pot and cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. 
Add wine and lower heat for about 3 minutes.

Add all mussels and cover.
Turn heat back on high. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.
Allow mussels to simmer and steam, using a large spoon, stirring the mussels every few minutes to infuse all flavors of the broth and to ensure even cooking.  Steam for about 15 minutes.  Their shells will open as mussels continue to cook while steaming.

Taste the broth for salt. ( No salt is really needed; the mussels give enough sodium to the broth). The broth should have a slight kick to it.  If desired, add more cayenne pepper and white wine to taste. Transfer mussels with broth to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.  Remember to serve with crusty bread at the table for dipping.

Serves 4 to 6

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