6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, sliced
28 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon peperoncino flakes
3 pounds mussels, soaked and scrubbed clean
10 large fresh basil leaves, shredded
*Note* Instead of canned tomatoes, you can use 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.
Heat 5 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic, and cook until the garlic sizzles and turns just golden around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, slosh out the can with ¼ cup hot water, and add that to the pot. Season with the oregano, salt, and pepperoncino. Bring to a boil, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Once the sauce has thickened, add the mussels, stir, and adjust the heat so the sauce is simmering. Cover, and simmer until the mussels open, about 5 minutes.
Once the mussels have opened (discard any that have not), stir in the basil, and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the mussels to a serving bowl, and pour juices over. Serve immediately.
Recipe Courtesy: Lidia Bastianich
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