Remember, although this sauce pairs perfectly with these mussels, you’re making EXTRA to freeze or use in other recipes. If you’re not in the mood for that, cut the amounts listed here in half. You can make this sauce ahead.
Only 2 cups of sauce are needed for the 4 lbs mussels. Remember to set aside 1 cup of red wine for making the mussels.
Author:The Peasant's Daughter
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
Yield:4 servings, or 2 as main course 1x
4 lbs mussels, scrubbed
2 lbs good bacon, diced small (or prosciutto or guanciale)
8 roasted red peppers, de-skinned (some black spots are okay), water reserved
2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes or 4–6 large and very ripe fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, minced or 4 shallots
3 cups of red wine, 2 cups is for the sauce. Set aside 1 cup for the mussels.
4 cups homemade chicken or beef stock
1/2 cup of olive oil (approximately)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 head garlic, roasted
8 cloves of garlic, chopped fine, amount separated in half
4 bay leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Parsley, flat-leaf Italian preferred
Roast your red peppers, discard the skin, set aside with any juices. If you have never roasted red peppers before, click here to learn how.
On medium heat, add olive oil to heavy stock pot, along with the bay leaves and diced onions. You do not need to preheat the oil. Allow the onions to slowly turn translucent.
Add the diced bacon, allow fat to render and bacon to get slightly crisp.
Add the tomato paste, HALF of the fresh minced garlic & all of the roasted garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Raise the heat to med/high and add TWO cups of the red wine. Allow to simmer for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add the canned or fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fish sauce, chicken or beef stock
Add a heavy pinch of salt.
Simmer 15 minutes on medium heat, taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary.
Add the butter.
Keep simmering, lowering the heat to low. When the sauce had reduced to the consistency of a thick pasta sauce, remove from heat. This could take up to 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to purée the sauce, but leave it chunky and rustic. Alternatively, use a potato masher.
Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Set the sauce aside. Now you will use 2 cups of this prepared sauce to make the mussels. Cool down the rest before refrigerating or freezing.
In another large pot or French oven, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add remaining minced garlic, allowing it to get fragrant.
Add the remaining cup of red wine, simmer for a few minutes, then add 2 cups of the sauce.
Turn heat to medium-high, place the mussels into the stock pot, cover and give them a good shake.
Mussels are ready once the shells open (5-8 minutes approximately)
Add the parsley
This sauce will keep 1 week in the refrigerator.
Keywords: mussels, mollusks, red wine, sauce, bacon, seafood, make ahead, quick dinner