As a soup, you need some crusty bread to sop up the briny tomato sauce, or you could drop in some small pasta shapes, such as fregula or orzo, and get the same effect. This is one of my favourite recipes.
Zuppa di Cozze - Italian Mussel Soup
- 48 large fresh mussels in their shells
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil 125 ml
- 2-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/4 cup onion 60 ml, finely-chopped
- 1/4 cup celery 60 ml, finely-chopped
- 15 oz Italian plum tomatoes chopped, with the liquid, 420 g
- 1/2 cup dry white wine clam juice, or fish stock, 125 ml
- 1 tbsp lemon zest 15 ml
- 2 tbsp basil 30 ml, chopped
- salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- Scrub the mussels with a stiff brush and remove the "beard" using a sharp knife.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat and sauté the garlic, onion, and celery until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and their liquid, the wine, basil, salt, and pepper, and simmer uncovered over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the mussels, cover, and cook over high heat until the mussels have opened, about 10 minutes.
- Divide the mussels between individual serving bowls, discarding any unopened shells.
- Spoon the soup over them and garnish with lemon zest.
- Serve with crusty Italian bread for sopping up the broth.