When Bobby Flay was a guest during the first season of Stirring the Pot, the lines to get his books signed went out the door. Flay remains ever popular for his great personality and culinary talent. During the pandemic he’s been sheltering at his house in Amagansett and said that this recipe is one of his go-to specialties when he’s there. It comes from Da Adolfo, a restaurant on the Amalfi Coast where the dish is called zuppa di cozze, mussel soup. He recommends serving it as a first course, making it enough for six, or for four as the main dish. Though there are fine local mussels, many markets sell and restaurants serve those cultivated on Prince Edward Island because they’re very clean and uniform. In the remote likelihood that there are leftovers, shuck the mussels and mix with the sauce to use for a risotto or as a sauce for penne.
Steamed Mussels with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Serves 4 to 6
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 anchovies in oil, drained, chopped
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups fresh or canned tomato puree
1 tablespoon tomato paste, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry white wine
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of ½ lemon
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
10 leaves basil, slivered
Crusty bread for dipping
Crush the garlic and anchovies together to make a paste. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the anchovies and garlic, stir and cook 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and, if using fresh raw tomatoes, add the tomato paste. Stir about a minute. Add the white wine, bring to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the butter (the larger amount will make the sauce richer), pepper flakes and lemon juice.
Add the mussels. Cover and cook until the mussels open, 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a serving bowl or to individual soup plates. Add the parsley and basil to the sauce, stir and pour the sauce over the mussels and serve with crusty bread alongside.
Check out recipes from local artists featured in our 1978 cookbook Palette to Palate.
Sponsored in part by Ciuffo Cabinetry, Lead Sponsor of Stirring the Pot since 2014.