Delicious stuffed mussels in a spicy tomato sauce

This is an unusual Tuscan dish as it combines ground beef with shellfish, and though it may sound odd, the pairing is delicious


prep 1:30       total 1:30


4 to 6 servings



2 dozen large-sized mussels (about 15 oz.)


10 oz. beef
4 oz. dry crusty bread
1-1/2 cup meat broth
1 heaping tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1 clove of garlic (minced)
20 turns pepper mill)
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. salt

Tomato Sauce

1-5/8 lb. crushed peeled tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp. tomato paste diluted in 3/4 cup of water
1 dried red-hot chili pepper
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
liquid released from mussels
1 tsp. salt


1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley


1. Beard and clean mussels.
2. Open mussels over bowl to collect the liquid the shellfish releases. The two valves should remain hinged together. Set the liquid aside.
3. Cut the stale bread into cubes and moisten with broth. Let stand till bread has softened. Squeeze bread well of all liquid.
4. Mix all the stuffing ingredients well in a bowl.
5. Stuff mussels. Place a tablespoon of stuffing on an open shell of mussel and press shut. Wipe off any excess stuffing that squishes out.
6. Make the tomato sauce. Gently sauté the garlic, chili pepper, and parsley in 6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat to flavor the oil, but do not let garlic brown.
7. After about 1 minute or less add the crushed peeled tomatoes and the tomato paste diluted in water. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Add the mussel juice you'll have kept aside. Salt. Lower heat and let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes.
8. Gently place stuffed mussels into pan without stirring. Cover and let mussels stew for about 30 minutes. The sauce should not be too liquidy and should cling somewhat to the mussels. If the sauce should not be of the right consistency yet, remove mussels with a slotted spoon, raise heat of the tomato sauce and cook until sauce has thickened somewhat.
9. Garnish with remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve.

Author's Comments

I have posted a video on Youtube for those of you who would like to see the procedure of how to make this dish. The link to the video is:

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