More Moules – A Recipe for Mussels Marinara


More moules … how many mussels can you eat? For sure, I fill up on sauce-soaked bread before I hit my mussel limit. Just like clams. Just like oysters. Growing up, my brother and I would take the inflatable boat down side canals at low tide and, literally, scoop the mussels into the boat. We would head back to the beach house with our heavy load and Mom would start cooking … mussels, garlic, the scents were (and still are) intoxicating.

Mussels Marinara is one of my Mom’s signature dishes and a lovely dish to serve as an appetizer or main. Impress your guests with perfectly basted mussels in wine, garlic, and tomatoes; just make sure you have plenty of bread for dipping handy! For those who celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes, this is a delicious addition to your recipes!

I nabbed three pounds of mussels from George and Sons’ Seafood in Hockessin when I went for the oysters. They were great quality! Just a note, mussels need to breathe so don’t cover them or twist the plastic bag and keep them cooooold until you are ready to use them. Our mussels had been cleaned and mostly de-bearded, but I still soaked them in the sink for an hour with a bit of flour. The mussels will eat the flour and express any sand. A final scrub and they were ready for the pot.

This recipe is good for up to five pounds of mussels. If you have more, then double it for up to ten pounds of mussels. One pound of mussels usually yields about 22 to 24 mussels.


Cleaning the Mussels:

Put mussels in the sink and barely cover with cold water and sprinkle the cornmeal or flour (like 1/4 cup) into the sink.  This cleans the mussels naturally.  Leave them in the sink for approximately an hour and then scrub and de-beard the mussels.


  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (can use chicken broth if you prefer)
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 16 oz can of diced tomatoes (for 3 pounds of mussels, I used a 8 ounce can and it was fine)


Saute in a large pot (6 quart) kettle/pot that will be large enough to hold your mussels OR a huge pan which is what I used for three pounds and it was perfect. More than that and I would go to a pot.

Saute over medium heat: olive oil, onions, basil, celery, and garlic. When onions are softening, then add wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and tomatoes.

Bring to a boil and then add cleaned mussels. Cook mussels covered and simmer until mussels open – approximately 6-8 minutes. Discard mussels that do not open.

Garnish with 1/4 cup chopped parsley before serving.

Make sure to have plenty of bread for dipping or serve with linguine.



About Kimberly Moore - The Hungry Goddess Herself

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