- 2 pounds live mussels
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fine, dry, unflavored bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Fiore Sardo or Pecorino Romano or other hard, grating sheep's milk cheese
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup tomatoes cut up with their juice, either ripe, firm, fresh plum tomatoes
- Grilled crusty bread, 1 or more slices per serving
How to make it
- Cut away any protruding tufts from the mussels.
- Set aside any whose shells are even slightly open and tap them sharply.
- Check them after 2 or 3 minutes and throw out all those that are still open.
- Drop the mussels in a basin or large bowl full of cold water, move them around a little bit, then let them settle for a few minutes.
- Retrieve them without stirring up the water.
- Pour the water out slowly to see if any sand has collected at the bottom. If any has, rinse out the container, refill it with fresh cold water, and drop the mussels into it again.
- Repeat this procedure until the water runs clear.
- Pour the olive oil into a 6-quart saucepan, add the garlic, turn on the heat to medium high, and cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until it becomes colored a light gold.
- Add the parsley, stir two or three times, then add the bread crumbs, stirring for a few seconds.
- Put the drained mussels in the pot, turn them around a bit, then cover the pot.
- Uncover after a few minutes, add the grated Pecorino cheese, stirring it well into the pot.
- Add the white wine, let it bubble away briskly for two to three minutes, then put in the tomatoes and the chili pepper.
- Turn the contents of the pot over two or three times and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place a slice or two of toasted or grilled bread in each individual soup bowl, distribute the contents of the pot over the bread, and serve piping hot.