Mussels saute

Recipe by: Francesco Laera


  • 2 kg mussels
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g N'duja
  • a hand full of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt if needed
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 can of beer


To prepare the sautéed mussels, start first by cleaning the shellfish. To clean the mussels, put the seafood in a large bowl, then rinse them well under fresh running water. With an energetic movement, manually detach the barbette, or byssus, which comes out of the valves (to facilitate the operation it is possible to hold the byssus with a cloth). Still under running water, rub the mussels vigorously using steel wool (or a stiff brush) to remove any impurities.

Cut the cherry tomatoes into wedges and chop the sprig of parsley. After carefully cleaning the molluscs, open them by placing the mussels in a saucepan. Cover with a lid and cook over high heat to open the shells. While the mussels are steaming, sauté the garlic in a second pot, big enough to contain the mussels later with olive oil. When the garlic just starts to brown a bit, add ‘Nduja and some chopped parsley, let this sofrito sauté very gently for a moment, until the garlic gives off a nice aroma. Add the cherry tomatoes and let them go soft. Add the beer and let the alcohol part evaporate! As soon as all the molluscs have opened separate the mussels from the cooking liquid with the help of a fine-mesh strainer. Then immediately but gently pour the mussel liquor into second pot. Allow the liquor to reduce until it is very flavourful. If you think it needs salt, add some now, but the mussels are usually quite briny, so you may need none. Then add the reserved mussels to the second pot, then some chopped parsley, stir well to coat the mussels with the ‘sauce’. Sprinkle a bit of additional chopped parsley on top and bring the pot to the table. Serve with crusty bread—a baguette is ideal—to sop up that delicious sauce! Time for Scarpetta as us Italians say! You can also add some charred ‘Nduja to finish off the dish.