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Mussels in chili, tomato and basil sauce

This is my version of a dish I once had at an Italian restaurant. Can be appetiser or a light main meal.


  • 3 anchovies in olive oil

  • 1 kg of cleaned mussels

  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes - rich and thick

  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste

  • half a bunch of chopped fresh basil

  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic

  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 teaspoon of chili flakes


  • 1.

    Toss the anchovies and their oil onto a heated deep large pan or wok and crush the anchovies with a wooden spoon untilit becomes more pasty.

  • 2.

    Add the garlic to the pan.

  • 3.

    Rub the chili flakes quickly between your hands before adding to the pan also. (Don't forget to wash your hand s afterwards otherwise they would feel burning for the next hour or so)

  • 4.

    Saute anchovies, garlic and chili then add the mussels.

  • 5.

    As soon as the mussels starts to open, add the canned tomatoes and the olive oil and the basil

  • 6.

    Stir for another 2 minutes until all the mussels have opened fully.

  • 7.

    Serve in deep rimmed soup bowls with fresh crusty bread.


Can also use this as a pasta sauce and add prawns, fish and other seafood to make marinara style sauce.

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