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Sunday, February 10, 2008

A stew of mussels

A stew of mussels

I'm currently watching Rick Stein on telly, so perhaps it's fitting that I'm about to post one of his recipes!

I love mussels, and they are so easy to cook. We bought two kilos, and the three of us scoffed them all! The tomato stew was very tasty, although a tad too salty. I added some salt to the sauce before adding the mussels sd I didn't realise how salty the mussel juices would be. The fault is all mine.

I didn't follow the recipe below exactly but I've posted it unadapted (you'll see by the pictures that I didn't have any clams nor did I bother toasting the bread). "A stew of mussels" didn't sound quite as tasty!

A stew of mussels

Zuppa di cozze e arselle: A stew of mussels and clams scattered over chargrilled bread

From Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes

Serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
5 fat garlic cloves, 4 finely chopped and one left whole
A pinch of peperoncino or crushed dried chillies
400g can chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons caster sugar
500g mussels, cleaned
500g clams, washed
50ml dry white wine
4 large slices rustic white bread, taken from a large round loaf
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Put the olive oil, chopped garlic and peperoncino into a large flameproof casserole and place it over a medium heat. As soon as it begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes and 150ml water and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened. Meanwhile, put the vinegar and sugar into a small pan and boil until reduced to 1 teaspoon. Stir into the tomato sauce and keep hot.

Place another large pan over a high heat and when hot, add the mussels, clams and white wine, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until the shellfish have just opened. Tip the mussels, clams and all but the last tablepsoon or two of the cooking juices (which might be a bit gritty) into the tomato sauce and stir together well.

Toast the slices of bread on both sides and then singe over a naked gas flame for a slightly smoky taste. Rub one side of each slice of toast with the peeled garlic clove, put the slices of toast into the base of 4 warmed bistro-style plates and drizzle with a little olive oil. Stir the parsley into the stew, spoon the stew on top of the bread and serve straight away.

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