Cozze al Pomodoro | Mussels in Tomato Sauce

I love mussels, and I’ll eat them prepared just about any way but this dish is a favorite of mine simply because its easy and delicious and ready in under 30 minutes. This is different than the Mussels Marinara you’d get at your favorite Italian restaurant, because the tomato sauce we’ll use here is made of fresh tomatoes, but I promise you the flavor is all there. This recipe is made with extra tomatoes so that you’ll have plenty of sauce left over if you want to serve this with pasta. Or, you could choose to serve it on the side with some crusty Italian bread, it’s great for dipping.

Mussels are a great shellfish to prepare for the beginner cook because they have a depth of flavor to them but aren’t costly and are easy to prepare – no shucking, they’ll open on their own as soon as the steam sets in on them. And they’re beautiful – the presentation of them on their own is impressive. Try this for dinner tonight – you won’t be disappointed.

Cozze al Pomodoro | Mussels in Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 lbs fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 2 lbs Campari tomatoes, cut into quarters(or plum tomatoes)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat a large dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, about 2 minutes. Add extra virgin olive oil and heat for 2 minutes more, until oil thins and can be swirled around the bottom of the pot easily.
  2. Add red pepper flakes (these are spicy – so add as much as you can handle here) and garlic, and saute until the garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add diced onion and toss with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add a pinch of salt, and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour white wine into the pot and stir to combine. Allow the wine to reduce by half – about 10 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes to the reduced wine and allow to cook until the tomatoes are soft and can be broken down with a spoon. This should take 5-10 minutes. Stir periodically.
  6. When the tomatoes have cooked down and are beginning to resemble a sauce, add in your mussels and stir them into the tomato sauce. Cover the pot and allow the mussels to open completely for about 10 minutes.
  7. Plate and garnish with fresh parsley.

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