Cozze alla marinara, loosely translated to “mussels in a red sauce”, or more directly translated to “sailor-style mussels” is a perfect dish to serve as an appetizer to any main course. It could also be served by itself or even as a great sauce for pasta. However you choose to enjoy it, its wonderful flavours and relatively simple steps are sure to bring you back for more.
2 pounds of mussels
½ cup banana peppers (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 white onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce (or strained tomatoes)
¼ cup white wine
Basil to taste
Salt to taste
Wash the mussels under cold water for approximately one minute, making sure they are clean and free of any dirt or random pieces of the sea.
Place the olive oil in a large pot over low-to-medium heat and let it heat up. Once hot, place the onions, garlic, and banana peppers in the pot. Let ingredients sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Throw the mussels into the pot and turn the heat to high. Mix everything together, ensuring that the mussels are coated with the onions, garlic, and oil. Cook the mussels for approximately 5 minutes or until they are mostly open.
Add a cup of tomato sauce, ¼ cup of white wine, and some salt and basil to taste. Mix all the ingredients together, close the pot, and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Don’t discard the sauce! It’s delicious and great for dipping bread. If there’s a lot left over, you could easily save it and use it as pasta sauce the next day!