- 2 ripe tomatoes
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…
- small glass dry white wine
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- pinch of sugar
Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
- 1kg cleaned mussels
Once regarded as the poor relation of the shellfish family because of their small size and…
- good handful basil leaves
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
Put the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water, leave for 3 mins, then drain and peel. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out and discard the seeds using a teaspoon. Roughly chop the tomato flesh.
Heat the oil in a large pan with a tight- fitting lid. Add the garlic, shallot and chilli, then gently fry for 2-3 mins until softened. Pour in the wine and add the tomatoes, paste, sugar and seasoning (mussels are naturally salty so take care with the salt). Stir well and simmer for 2 mins.
Tip in the mussels and give them a stir. Cover tightly and steam for 3-4 mins, shaking the pan halfway through, until the shells have opened.
Discard any shells that remain shut, then divide the mussels between two bowls and add the basil leaves. Provide a large bowl for the empty shells.