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Beach Mussel

March 22, 2000

DEAR SOS: Rosa's Italian Restaurant in Pismo Beach serves an appetizer of steamed mussels in broth that by itself would earn Pismo Beach a place on the map if it were not already there. Can you get the recipe?



DEAR PHILIP: Chef Doug Cristallo Macmillan was kind enough to lay it all out.

Pismo Beach Steamed Mussels

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups clam juice

2 cups tomato puree

2 cups whole peeled tomatoes

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

Salt, pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed basil leaves

32 large black mussels

12 fresh basil leaves, chopped

* Combine oil, garlic, green pepper, onion, red pepper flakes and parsley in 8-quart pot. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add wine, clam juice, tomato puree, whole tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano and dried basil.

* Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium-high and add mussels. Cover and cook until mussels pop open, 3 to 5 minutes. Pile mussels into 8 soup bowls with some of broth. (Discard any mussels that do not open.) Top with fresh basil leaves just before serving.

8 servings. Each serving: 231 calories; 728 mg sodium; 34 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 17 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams protein; 1.24 grams fiber.

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