Mussels Marinara Recipe

Restaurant quality with minimal effort, you'll love this fresh-tasting flavorful recipe!

The deep blue-black of the mussels contrasts beautifully with the rich, red color of the marinara sauce. Either kielbasa or chorizo sausage works well, depending upon whether you'd prefer a smoky or a spicy taste.

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound kielbasa or chorizo sausage, sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups Marinara Sauce (recipe and ingredients below)
  • 3 pounds cleaned mussels
  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • Salt
  • Freshly milled black pepper

For Marinara Sauce (makes about 2 cups):

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 10 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt


For Marinara Sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large nonreactive skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Raise the heat and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the sauce is thick, stirring frequently. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat. Season with salt to taste.


For Mussels Marinara:

Heat the olive oil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the sausage and onion. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sausage and onion are browned. Tip the pan and spoon out any excess fat. Add the marinara sauce and the mussels. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes longer. Set the mixture aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions until cooked through but still firm (al dente). Drain the pasta thoroughly. Toss with the mussels and sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

From the "Legal Sea Foods Cookbook" by Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer, illustrated by Edward Koren.

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