Mussels Fra Diavolo

I understand that I am impartial but the east coast has some of the best Italian restaurants. One dish I’ve fallen in love with is seafood Fra Diavolo. A friend ordered it at one of those chain restaurants and it was delicious. A pleasant surprise. Of course, in the end I was happy she shared with me. I have a bad habit of not trying anything new when I go out to restaurants. Who likes paying for food they’re disappointed with. If I want an unpleasant surprise I can mess up dishes in my own kitchen. I was even more surprised when I found out that it wasn’t an Italian dish at all.

Of course, when it comes to Fra Diavolo there is something warm and soothing about a nice, tongue tingling tomato broth. It’s easy to fall in love with this dish. Just as wonderful as the taste is the ease to make it. It can be finished before that frozen garlic bread you put in the oven. Of course, it’s another one of those dishes that’s disguised as one thing but really it another. Though Fra Diavolo is served in many Italian restaurants it is and American dish. Which I guess is perfect. It’s a chameleon. Swap out the mussels for shrimp. Or have it the traditional way with lobster. In the spring on a rainy day or in the winter to warm your bones. Any way you decided this New York dish is delicious and easy to make.

Mussels Fra Diavolo

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 pounds of mussels
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic ( minced)
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of seafood or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried chili peppers
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

* Note: Buy your seafood as fresh as possible. If you like spice add more chili peppers/red pepper flakes.

If not cooking mussels right away keep refrigerated. In a breathable bag (do not tie the plastic bag).

  • Remove mussels that are open and do not close when tapped on the counter.
  • Soak mussels in cool water for 20 minutes. This should help to remove sand and dirt.

  • To clean mussels, scrub shell with a soft brush and remove beards (use knife to grasp beard and pull toward the hinge).
  • In a large pot /dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion then garlic. Cook stirring occasionally until onion turn translucent.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes.
  • Add seafood broth and white wine. Gently scrape the pot and stir the contents.
  • Add diced tomato and bay leaf. Stir.

  • Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Add mussels to pot and cook covered for approximately 3 minutes.
  • Shake pot occasionally to mix.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Boil uncovered. Remove mussels as soon as they open. Discard any mussels that do not open.

To serve, add linguini to a large pasta bowl and gently pour the Mussels Fra Diavolo over the linguini. Sprinkle parsley on top.

You can eat this as an appetizer or serve over linguini and make it dinner. I typically eat it for dinner but it is a great starter to a meal. Yum

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