Mussel and tomato stew

Trish Deseine's summery stew features a pungent base of garlic, shallots and herbs to square up to meaty mussels
By Trish Deseine
Mussel and tomato stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 6 tomatoes
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 175 ml white wine
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dash tomato, paste
  • 500 g mussels

Tips and Suggestions

It's lovely to use fresh tomatoes in season for this dish but you could also use canned tomatoes. The sauce is the heart of the dish and instead of mussels you could serve it with any white fish, or pasta.

Method

1. Cut a cross in the base of each tomato and put them in a heatproof bowl. Cover with hot water from the kettle and leave to steep for 1-2 minutes to loosen the skins. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic and shallots. Cook over a medium-low heat until they are soft and starting to brown.

3. Meanwhile, peel and deseed the tomatoes and chop the flesh very finely (this will help give a smooth sauce).

4. When the garlic and shallots are golden, pour the wine into the pan and add the herbs.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, then increase the heat a little and cook for a few minutes. Add a little salt and pepper, but not too much, because you are going to season the dish again at the end. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are really soft.

6. Scrub and de-beard the mussels. Tap any open mussels sharply and, if the shells do not close, discard them.

7. When the tomato sauce is ready, throw the mussels into the pan and let them cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and discard any mussels that did not open during cooking. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.

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