This recipe from Lidia Bastianich is quick, easy and delicious. Cook onion and garlic in oil, add bay leaves, salt and hot pepper flakes, add wine and reduce for a few minutes. Add mussels and scallions and cook for about five minutes. Add parsley and breadcrumbs and serve with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the hot pepper flakes do not contain colour. I used a white wine from Frogpond Farm Organic Winery with a sulfite count below 10 parts per million. Panko breadcrumbs are usually additive free, as is Ace Bakery bread.

Rinse mussels and remove beards; discard any that do not close

Cook garlic and onion

Add wine and reduce

Add mussels and scallions, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes

Mussels Triestina

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1 large onion, sliced ½ inch (1.25-cm) thick

3 fresh bay leaves, or 4 dried bay leaves

Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) hot pepper flakes

2 cups (500 ml) dry white wine

3 pounds mussels (1.36 kg), soaked, debearded if necessary, and scrubbed clean

1 bunch scallions, chopped

½ cup (125 ml) chopped fresh parsley

2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 ml) dried breadcrumbs

Crusty bread, for serving

Preparation:

In a large Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it is sizzling and just golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the bay leaves and ½ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt. Push the vegetables aside and make a hot spot in the bottom of the pan. Add the hot pepper flakes to this spot and let them toast for a minute. Pour the white wine into the pot. Bring to a boil, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Once the wine has reduced, add the mussels and scallions. Stir, and adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering. Cover, and simmer until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Most of the mussels should have opened (discard any that have not). Sprinkle with the parsley. Stir in enough breadcrumbs to thicken the bubbling sauce slightly. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil and toss well. Remove the bay leaves. Transfer the mussels to a serving bowl and pour the juices over the top. Serve immediately with crusty bread. Serves 4.

From Lidia Bastianich