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The Barcelona Cookbook
by Sasa Mahr-batuz & Andy Pforzheimer
This is Sasa's dish, borrowed from a restaurant he worked in and—like many of our best-selling dishes—Italian through and through. This dish follows the Barcelona precept: simple preparation and big, striking flavors. We serve a large croûton with it, but people will typically go through an additional basket of bread to finish the broth.
40 Prince Edward Island mussels or other high-quality mussels
• 1 cup olive oil
• 1/4 baguette, sliced on the diagonal into eight 1/4-inch-thick pieces
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, crushed
• 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
• Kosher salt
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and leaves slivered, plus more for garnish
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Clean the mussels by scrubbing well under cold running water and removing any beards. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate.
3. Pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a shallow baking dish. Lay the bread slices in the oil and turn once to coat both sides. Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the croûtons to a plate to cool.
4. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mussels, tomatoes, and pepper flakes and season with salt to taste. Stir well and cook for about 15 minutes.
5. Add the wine and parsley, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels open. (Discard any that do not open.)
6. Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl. Garnish with parsley and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Stud the bowl with the croûtons and serve.
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