Mussels in Bacon, Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper & Red Wine Sauce

mussels in a bacon, tomato, roasted red pepper, garlic, and red wine sauce

5 from 14 reviews

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.




  1.  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.
  2.  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.
  3.  Add the diced bacon, allow fat to render and bacon to get slightly crisp.
  4.  Add the tomato paste, HALF of the fresh minced garlic & all of the roasted garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5.  Raise the heat to med/high and add TWO cups of the red wine. Allow to simmer for 1 1/2 minutes.
  6.  Add the canned or fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fish sauce, chicken or beef stock
  7. Add a heavy pinch of salt.
  8.  Simmer 15 minutes on medium heat, taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary.
  9.  Add the butter.
  10.  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.
  11.  Use an immersion blender to purée the sauce, but leave it chunky and rustic. Alternatively, use a potato masher.
  12. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  13. 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.
  14.  In another large pot or French oven, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add remaining minced garlic, allowing it to get fragrant.
  15.  Add the remaining cup of red wine, simmer for a few minutes, then add 2 cups of the sauce.
  16.  Turn heat to medium-high, place the mussels into the stock pot, cover and give them a good shake.
  17.  Mussels are ready once the shells open (5-8 minutes approximately)
  18.  Add the parsley


This sauce will keep 1 week in the refrigerator.

Keywords: mussels, mollusks, red wine, sauce, bacon, seafood, make ahead, quick dinner