20 mussels, scrubbed
½ cup white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon fennel seed
¼–½ teaspoon chilli flakes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400-gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
2 x 400-gram tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
good handful parsley, chopped
slices sourdough bread, grilled and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic
Put the mussels and wine in a large saucepan. Cover and cook until the mussels have opened, transferring to a large bowl as they open. Remove one shell and discard. Strain the cooking juices through muslin into a bowl. Keep the mussels and juices separate.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the onion, carrot, fennel seeds and chilli flakes with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, paprika and tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved mussel juice, tomatoes and the butter beans. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 8 minutes.
To serve: Add the mussels and parsley to the bean mixture and stir. Serve with the grilled bread, spread with mayonnaise.
Cook's tip: By cooking the mussels separately from the sauce then adding the strained cooking juices to the pan, it eliminates getting any grit or sand in the finished dish.