Pasta with mussels in tomato sauce – Simple recipe

I just love the flavour of the sea.

Pasta with mussels is usually a dish I make at weekends simply because the mussels need to be really fresh and therefore bought on the same day but, as this is an easy dish and of quick preparation, you could certainly make it during the week if you wish.

It is incredible how a few mussels can magically transform a simple tomato sauce in a perfumed and moreish dish. Mussels don’t need much prep time either, you just need to wash them under the tap and scrape theirs shells to remove any dirt. Make sure you discard any shells that are broken or any which do not open after cooking.

Choose any pasta you fancy: a short cut pasta or spaghetti or linguine would do too.

This sauce is also light so an ideal meal for these hot summer nights, a nice salad on the side and I couldn’t ask for more.. or yes a nice glass of Pinot Grigio please.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes
  • Yield : 4


  • pasta of your choice – 400 g – 4 cups
  • fresh mussels – 1 Kg – 2.2 lbs
  • chopped canned tomatoes or use fresh ones – 600 g – 2 + 2/3 cup
  • basil – 4 leaves
  • garlic cloves – 2
  • chopped parsley – 1 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper


Wash the mussels under the tap, discard any cracked ones and scrape the shells with a knife to remove any dirt. Pull the beards off.

Put the mussels in a large pan and let them open up over a high heat with the lid on. This should take 3 to 5 minutes approximately.

Remove any unopened ones. Take them off their shells but leave a few still in their shell for decoration and set aside. Filter the liquid they have released.

Cooked mussels

In a separate large pan stir fry the garlic cloves with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Remove the garlic and add the chopped tomatoes, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes over a moderate heat then add the liquid released from the mussels and the parsley and cook for a further 2 minutes. Finally add the mussels without the shell and stir well.

Tomato sauce

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than indicated on the packet, drain it and add it to the sauce with the mussels and 3 tbsp of olive oil; Stir the sauce with the pasta for 2 minutes over a high source of heat.

Serve with the remaining mussels still in their shells.

Pasta with mussels and tomato sauce

13 thoughts on “Pasta with mussels in tomato sauce – Simple recipe

  1. Looks yummy, Alida! I nice change from clams, however much I like them, too. Love the tip about leaving a few mussels in their shells for decoration!


  2. Thank you Alida! You are fantastic! It is allways a pleasure to get your delicious recepies. Very best regards


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