Mussels Fra Diavolo

Translated: Brother Devil Mussels. It’s gonna get hot in here.

I haven’t had this in a long time. It’s real easy to make.

Get 2 pound of mussels. Rinse. Debeard the mussels if needed. Soak in salty water.

Make the spicy tomato sauce.

Simmer the mussels in the spicy sauce until they open.

Serve with crusty bread. Done.

Servings: 2 to 4 depending on how hungry. One pound was good for me.

Prep Time: 30 minutes


2 pounds of mussels
1 28 ounce can of tomato puree
1-1/4 cups of water
1 large lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoons red pepper flakes – more or less to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
10 cloves garlic – thinly sliced like Paulie or finely chopped
1 loaf of buttered, crusty bread cut into wedges

Debeard the mussels if necessary. Rinse in a colander with cold water. Put the mussels into a big pot with salty, cold water.

The sauce is easy. Olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic until sizzling – or until the garlic starts to brown.

Add the tomato puree. Stir. Add the black pepper. Stir. Add the water with the juice of one lemon. Stir.

When simmering, add all the mussels. Cover and steam with another big pan on top.

When the mussels are all open it’s time to serve. Discard the ones that did not open.

Plate with some chopped, Italian parsley. Chopped fennel and/or fennel fronds work too.

The dunk of the bread into that spicy, salty tomato broth is a little bit of heaven.


The mussels and their liquid should provide all the saltiness you need for the sauce. If not, add a little salt.

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