I love mussels more than muscles

An unsuccessful fishing expedition on Sunday afternoon left me slightly disappointed, hungry and with a bad hankering for some seafood. So I figured that if you can’t catch it, buy it. I subsequently visited the local fish store and left with 2kgs of fresh mussels (thankfully they come already cleaned and de-bearded – convenience at its best). Although my friends were hoping to have a fish or two at the end of their lines earlier in the day – I couldn’t say no to the prospect of mussels, easily a favourite of mine.

Wanting to keep my Sunday evening low maintenance I decided a bowl of Chilli Mussels was in order…

There is nothing more satisfying than spending a Sunday night sitting outside in the late summer heat with a big bowl of mussels and a cold beer to end a weekend full of hustle and bustle.

I took advice from Peter Evans and followed the recipe for his Italian Mussels. As the original recipe was for only 30 mussels – I played around with the quantities and have altered the original recipe to suit my 2kg feast for two.

My bowl full of happiness

My bowl full of happiness

The List:

2kg black mussels

6 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons sliced red chilli

20 basil leaves

1 1/2 cups white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

2 cups napolitana sauce

Napolitana sauce

2 tins of crushed tomatoes

4 garlic cloves roughly chopped

Handful of roughly chopped basil

Sea salt

pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

The Method:

For the Garlic confit

  1. Drizzle whole garlic cloves with some olive oil and roast in the oven on 150 degrees for about an hour until they are nice and soft. These will smell amazing when ready, it won’t be hard to tell if they’re done

Napolitana sauce

  1. Heat oil in a pot and add chopped garlic and cook until caramelised – around 3 – 4 minutes
  2. Add tinned tomatoes into the pot and simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Add chopped basil
  4. Season to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a wok (or large pot if you don’t have a wok) until almost smoking
  2. Add in the mussels and cook for a minute. Shake the wok lightly to move the mussels around the wok
  3. Add in the garlic, chilli, basil, white wine and cover for 3 minutes
  4. Add in the Napolitana sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Heat through and serve with crusty bread and cold beer

What I love about this dish most is the simplicity. Its quick, easy and doesn’t set you back too much – I paid just under $20 for the mussels and had the remainder of the ingredients at home. Its not often you can enjoy fresh seafood for dinner and leave with change from a $20 note!

Soak up leftover sauce with fresh crusty bread to make a button popping meal for two

Soak up leftover sauce with fresh crusty bread to make a button popping meal for two


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