Steamed Mussels in White Wine and Tomato Sauce

Steamed Mussels in Tomato Sauce

Every time I visit Boston, the one restaurant I must visit is Mother Anna’s in the North End. For twelve bucks, you can be served the most mouthwatering, scrumptious bowl of saucy steamed mussels fit for a king, and alongside it a hunk of freshly baked Italian bread. Swoooon…. It’s this dish that has remained my absolute favorite decadence on a cold winter day in New England, and I’ve finally learned to recreate it in my own home!

Mussels in Tomato Sauce Recipe

Steaming in a big pot with sautéed garlic, onions, my favorite white wine and a homemade tomato sauce, the aroma of these mussels was just heavenly. Plus, after steaming in the pot for just under 10 minutes, they were ready in a snap!


The same as I’ve always done at Mother Anna’s, I devoured these delicious mussels and scooped up the fragrant, hearty tomato sauce with a hunk of soft Italian bread. It was such a tasty meal that I know you’d enjoy, too, and such a comfort to know that I could replicate one of my favorite Boston dishes in my own kitchen.

Steamed Mussels in White Wine and Tomato Sauce

Steamed Mussels in White Wine and Tomato Sauce

Yield: 2 to 3


For the tomato sauce:

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1 medium onion, finely chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, (optional), or to taste

For the mussels:

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, (recipe included)
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed


  1. For the tomato sauce:Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low. Add onions and garlic, cooking and stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, including juice, and salt. Cover and put in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring and mashing tomatoes with a fork occasionally, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 3 cups. If sauce tastes too acidic, add sugar and cook 5 minutes more.
  4. For the mussels:In a large, heavy pot (I used a 5.5 quart Le Creuset), heat oil over medium-low. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium high. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add tomato sauce and mussels and cook over moderately high heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until mussels just open wide, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that are unopened after 8 minutes. Serve immediately.
  5. Enjoy!

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Join the Conversation

  1. Suddenly toast and grapefruit sounds like the worse breakfast ever…. I want a big bowl of this!!! YUM!

  2. This looks so decadent. Awesome recipe.

  3. Fresh mussels steamed in white wine and tomato sauce sounds fabulous.

  4. This is a favorite of min even though I haven’t had it in years!

  5. 1. Those mussels look perfect! I wish I had some mussels for dinner :)

    2. Thanks so much for the comment on my blog! Hope you’re having a good day :)

  6. I can smell this all the way in Cayman. Looks delish! Thanks for stopping by deep dish :) Can’t wait to see what awesomeness you’ve got to share!

  7. Oh goodness…one of my favorite ways to eat mussels! That glass of white wine and bread…mmm! You are too cute in that photo. Boston looks so pretty in October. Happy Monday, Georgia:)

  8. I can image taking a piece of bread and dipping it in all of the juices!!! YUM

  9. Oh my! I LOVE mussels! That tomato sauce is just a bonus. I may have to make enough sauce to keep for pasta. This may make me sound so very inexperienced, but I’ve never known to add sugar to balance acidity in tomato sauce. :( You really made my day by sharing that little tidbit of information!

    Naturally the Italian bread sounds amazing too. I need to find a good recipe for that…

  10. I love mussels. What I would give for a big bowl of these babies for dinner tonight. Nicely done Georgia.

  11. What a gorgeous, impressive meal :)

  12. What an elegant meal! I love when you can recreate a dish at home to take you back to different phases of your life. :)

  13. My stomach is growling looking at how beautiful those mussels are! I wish I had a bowl of them right now.

  14. What a decadent and perfect meal. I love mussels with garlic and wine and tomato.
    :-) Mandy

  15. They look delicious. I also love the combination with white wine & lemon.

  16. The photo does the dish justice; I have not had mussels in a long time and this is making me crave them again!

  17. This is simply a heavenly recipe, Georgia. I’m a coastal girl and love seafood above all. AND I have fresh tomatoes and herbs in the garden now and white wine in the cupboard. I can’t think of anything I’d rather use them for – tonight! – than this lovely dish.

  18. Oh I need to try this. I am making a resolution to branch out and stuff like this always scared me. My hubby would love it, and boy would it impress friends. Love the first shot styling..partial to wine myself..and white is the best in my opinion! ha

  19. 5 stars
    Perfect meal! It reminds me of Anotnia’s winning dish on Top Chef a couple of weeks ago. :)

  20. Gorgeous! This reminds me of a restaurant I used to go to ever so often for their mussels!

  21. I am currently drooling all over my keyboard, I must try this soon!

  22. 5 stars
    This looks delicious and so impressive! I have never touched a mussel but this looks too good not to try! Beautiful display as always!

  23. I absolutely love a good bowl of steamed mussels/clams…especially when tomato sauce and lots of bread is involved. Your pictures are mouthwatering!

  24. 5 stars
    Such a great dish. I just had some the other night at a local restaurant. YUM!

  25. OH – If only I had known when I was in Boston! On the ALberta prairies, I don’t buy mussels to cook unless it is a very special occasion or I crave them as they are just not close to what you get by the sea. They are not expensive – but, just not regional. I had the best ones in Montenegro a couple of summers ago – unforgettable!
    I haven’t posted anything for two weeks and I don’t think that has ever happened before. I am deep in the throws of planning a local food conference with Slow Food here and been quite consumed by it. Great time for a great cause, but I have missed my kitchen, my hobby and reading my favourite blogs! I will catch up in the next few days, I hope!

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