Mussels in Spicy Red Sauce


Lots of flavor, lots of spice.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole, peeled Italian tomatoes in puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 pounds mussels, beared and washed


  1.  Heat the oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and hot pepper and stir, cooking, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the mussels, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the hot, bubbling tomato sauce. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that remain closed. Stir well so that the tomato sauce and mussel juices are well combined.

From Barbarians at the Plate: Taming and Feeding the Modern American Family by Marialisa Calta, Perigee Books. © 2005 Marialisa Calta. Reprinted with permission of the author.

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