Moules Provincale

Serves 1-2.

  • 2 1/4 lbs mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Provençale Sauce:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil, plus extra to
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 teaspoon sugar

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions, celery, garlic and basil and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Mix in the tomato paste and tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar, and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Place the mussels in a casserole dish with the wine, over high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes only, until the mussels have opened, (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently to ensure they are evenly cooked. Pour off the cooking liquid, discard any mussels that have not opened, and return the opened mussels, in their shells, to the casserole dish. Pour the hot tomato sauce over the mussels and heat through. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve at once.