Makes 4 servings
- 2 pounds black mussels in shells
- 10 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 slices bread, crusts removed
- 2 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Scrub the mussels and pull off beards. Set aside.
For the tomato sauce, combine the tomatoes, chopped basil, onion, and water in a medium saucepan and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Press the tomato mixture through a food mill. (Or pour the tomato mixture into a blender and process until smooth.) Set aside. In another medium saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the 1 tablespoon garlic and the 1 tablespoon parsley. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomato mixture and season with the salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
For the stuffing, soak the bread in the milk. Whisk together the eggs, Romano cheese, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gently squeeze the bread slices with your hands to remove the milk. Add the bread to the egg mixture and mix well. Discard the milk. In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the bread-egg mixture and cook for 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Open the mussels, making sure to leave the mussel attached to both sides of each shell. Place a spoonful of the stuffing in the middle of each mussel and close the shell, removing any excess stuffing that bulges out of the shell. Use butcher’s twine to tie each mussel closed. Add the mussels to the tomato sauce and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the mussels from the tomato sauce. Remove and discard the twine. Open each mussel and remove and discard the top half of the shell.
To serve, spoon some sauce on each of 4 serving plates. Top with mussels and spoon additional sauce over the mussels.