Chili, Tomato and White Wine Mussels

Mangy and I love long drives. We don’t normally plan the drive, we just go where the day takes us, and that’s how we found Greg’s Mussel Boat in Geelong. The proprietor (I assume that’s Greg) cooks fresh mussels on the boat, at $7 a bucket, they’re a bargain. Even better though, Greg sells fresh mussels at $5 a kilo.
People all around town seem to know about Greg and he makes a good trade in both cooked and fresh mussels. We’ve been back so many times that I’ve lost count. The next time you’re in Geelong, try his mussels cooked in chilli and red wine. 

The last time we were in Geelong we came home with 2 kilos of Mussels. Mum and Mangy’s brother both bailed and refused to try them. So Mangy and I ploughed through the mussels. It was gluttony at its best. I’m surprised I wasn’t sick the next morning.
I prepared the mussels in a chilli, tomato and white wine sauce, and we dunked homemade bread into the sauce and had the most wonderful dinner.
You’ll need:
  • 2 kilos mussels – cleaned and debearded
  • 4 Birds eye chillies – (2 for the paste and 2 finely sliced.
  • 3 coriander roots 
  • 3 cloves of garlic – peeled
  • 4 French shallots – peeled
  • 1/4 yellow capsicum – diced finely
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 120 ml Pasta Sauce (I use Arrabiata)
  • 1 lemon zest
  • Bunch of fresh coriander
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Cracked black pepper
In a food processor, blend the 2 chillies, coriander roots, garlic and shallots into a paste.
Heat pan, add olive oil. On a really low heat, add the paste and sugar. Add yellow capsicum. Slowly cook the paste until it darkens. Add the pasta sauce; continue slow cooking it, until it thickens. Add the wine; continue cooking on a low flame until the wine taste mellows down (about 7 to 8 minutes). Add cracked black pepper. Lay out the mussels in the pan, put the lid on and steamed until open and cooked.
To serve, pick out the mussels and place on a platter or in a bowl. Allow the sauce to thicken in the pan for a few minutes. Stir in the lemon zest, coriander and sliced chillies. Pour the sauce over the mussels, garnish with a little more fresh coriander. Serve with crusty warm bread, enjoy!

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