Every so often, I challenge myself to make dinner for under $10, not including already on-hand ingredients. This recipe meets that criteria and is a cinch to prepare. It is a great one-pot recipe for a casual dinner with friends.
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/3 c. chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley--once you have Italian parsley, I just know you'll never buy the curly stuff again!
2 1/2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
One French baguette, cut in the four large pieces
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic (I used a garlic press rather than bothering to chop garlic, which is a pain in the neck!) and crushed red pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat to medium and cook for ten minutes.
Stir in half of the parsley, add the mussels, cover and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Divide the mussels and broth among 4 bowls, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, lightly drizzle with olive oil, and serve with a piece of the bread. Better yet, prepare the mussels in a pretty pot and bring it to the table and allow your guests to help themselves.
If I'm willing to splurge and make this more than a $10 dinner, I will pick up a bottle of white wine. My favorite for this recipe is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.