Zuppa Di Mussels Recipe

by vitus
Zuppa Di Mussels

Are you craving a taste of the Mediterranean without leaving your kitchen? Then look no further than Zuppa di Mussels, a dish that’s soul-warming and incredibly easy to make.

What Is Zuppa Di Mussels?

Zuppa di mussels is an Italian dish of mussels cooked in a flavorful broth typically made with garlic, white wine, tomatoes, and herbs such as parsley or basil.

Ingredients:

Mussels:

  • 2-4 pounds of live mussels (depending on how much soup you want)

Base:

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot or small onion, diced (optional)

Tomatoes:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3-4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped

Seasoning:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)

For Serving:

  • Crusty bread, toasted (crostini are great for dipping)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions:

Clean The Mussels:

  1. Discard any broken or open mussels.
  2. Scrub the shells thoroughly with a brush under running water to remove dirt and debris.
  3. Soak the mussels in a large bowl of cold water with 1-2 tablespoons of flour for 30 minutes. This helps remove any sand or grit.
  4. Drain the mussels and rinse again under cold running water. Discard any mussels that don’t close tightly when tapped.

Sauté The Base:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and shallot (if using) and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to brown the garlic.

Add The Broth:

  1. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) or chopped fresh tomatoes, white wine, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Cook The Mussels:

  1. Add the drained mussels to the simmering broth.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the pot tightly.
  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes, occasionally shaking the pot until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

Serve:

  1. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the fresh parsley and basil.
  2. Ladle the soup into bowls, spooning mussels and broth into each serving.
  3. Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping and lemon wedges for squeezing over the soup, if desired.

Tips:

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh mussels, herbs, and tomatoes give the soup the best flavor.
  • Don’t Overcook the Mussels: Overcooked mussels become tough and rubbery. They are done when they open completely.
  • Adjust the Spice Level: Add more or less red pepper flakes, depending on your preference.
  • Add Other Seafood: Feel free to add other seafood like shrimp, clams, or calamari to the soup.
  • Please make it a Heartier Meal: Serve the soup with pasta or crusty bread for a more filling dish.
  • White Wine Substitution: If you don’t have white wine, use chicken broth instead. However, the white wine adds a nice acidity that complements the dish’s flavours.
  • Storage: Leftover Zuppa di cozze can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, the mussels may become burdensome upon reheating.

What To Serve With

  • Crusty Bread: This is the most traditional accompaniment to Zuppa di Mussels. Crusty bread, such as sourdough, baguette, or ciabatta, is perfect for dipping into the flavorful broth and soaking up any leftover sauce. Consider toasting the bread for additional textural contrast.
  • Bruschetta: Take your bread game a notch further with bruschetta. Simply toast slices of Italian bread, drizzle them with olive oil and rub them with garlic. You can also top them with chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of cheese.
  • Pasta: For a more substantial meal, serve Zuppa di Mussels with a side of pasta. Simple options like spaghetti, linguine, or rigatoni work well. You can toss the cooked pasta with olive oil and fresh herbs or add a ladleful of the soup broth for extra flavor.
  • Rice: Another great option is rice. Plain white rice, risotto, or even a flavorful pilaf would all complement the soup nicely.
  • Arugula Salad: A simple arugula salad with a light vinaigrette is a refreshing accompaniment to the rich flavors of the soup. You can add other ingredients like shaved parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, or a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
  • Fennel Salad: Try a fennel salad for a slightly more complex flavor profile. Fennel has a subtle licorice flavor that pairs well with seafood. Thinly slice the fennel, then dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and maybe a sprinkle of fennel seeds.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasting vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus brings out their natural sweetness and adds a nice counterpoint to the savory soup.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Grilled zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers are another healthy and flavorful option.
  • White Wine: The exact white wine you used to cook the mussels (pinot grigio or Sauvignon Blanc) is an excellent choice for pairing with the soup.
  • Sparkling Water: Sparkling water or sparkling wine can help cut through the soup’s richness and cleanse the palate.
  • Consider the season when choosing what to serve with your Zuppa di Mussels. In the summer, a lighter side, like a salad, might be preferable, while in the winter, a heartier option like pasta or rice would be more satisfying.
  • Think about the overall balance of the meal. If the soup is already quite flavorful, keep the side dishes simple. On the other hand, if the soup is a bit lighter, you can choose a side dish with more robust flavors.
  • Let your creativity flow! There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing foods. Experiment with different flavors and textures to find what you enjoy most.

Health Benefits

Mussels:

  • Rich in Protein: Mussels are a lean source of protein, essential for building and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Low in Fat and Calories: Compared to other protein sources, mussels are particularly low in fat and calories, making them heart-healthy.
  • Packed with Micronutrients: Mussels are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. They’re a great source of Vitamin B12, essential for nerve function and energy production. They’re also rich in iron, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body, and selenium, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage. Additionally, mussels contain potassium, zinc, manganese, and iodine [1, 2].

Other Ingredients:

  • Vegetables: Many Zuppa di Mussels recipes include tomatoes, onions, and garlic. These add vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the dish.
  • White Wine: A splash of white wine can be used to deglaze the pan, adding depth of flavor. While the alcohol content burns off during cooking, some studies suggest that moderate red or white wine consumption may have heart-healthy benefits. 

Final Thoughts

Zuppa di mussel soup, is more than just a bowl of broth and shellfish. It’s a symphony of flavors, a comforting hug in a spoon, and a testament to the simple elegance of Italian cuisine.

More Sauce Recipes:

Zuppa Di Mussels

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 374 calories 16 grams fat

Ingredients

Mussels:

  • 2-4 pounds of live mussels (depending on how much soup you want)

Base:

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot or small onion, diced (optional)

Tomatoes:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3-4 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped

Seasoning:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)

For Serving:

  • Crusty bread, toasted (crostini are great for dipping)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

For Serving:

  • Crusty bread, toasted (crostini are great for dipping)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions

Clean The Mussels:

  • Discard any broken or open mussels.
  • Scrub the shells thoroughly with a brush under running water to remove dirt and debris.
  • Soak the mussels in a large bowl of cold water with 1-2 tablespoons of flour for 30 minutes. This helps remove any sand or grit.
  • Drain the mussels and rinse again under cold running water. Discard any mussels that don't close tightly when tapped.

Sauté The Base:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic and shallot (if using) and cook until fragrant and softened, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to brown the garlic.

Add The Broth:

  • Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) or chopped fresh tomatoes, white wine, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the pot.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Cook The Mussels:

  • Add the drained mussels to the simmering broth.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and cover the pot tightly.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, occasionally shaking the pot until the mussels open. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

Serve:

  • Remove the pot from heat and stir in the fresh parsley and basil.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls, spooning mussels and broth into each serving.
  • Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping and lemon wedges for squeezing over the soup, if desired.

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