Recipe courtesy of Lynne Gigliotti

Grappa Mussels

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  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 35 min
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Tomato Broth:

2 onions, diced

2 bulbs fennel, diced

2 heads garlic, peeled and crushed

1 bottle white wine

1/2 pound whole basil leaves

4 pounds tomatoes, juiced

2 quarts vegetable stock

2 quarts shellfish stock

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1 baguette, cut in half and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices

Extra-virgin olive oil

Cracked black peppercorn and sea salt to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated


4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 pound Prince Edward Island mussels, washed and beards removed

4 cloves garlic, shaved thin

2 heads fennel, shaved thin

4 shallots, thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced

2 tablespoons basil, thinly sliced

2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped fine


  1. For the Tomato Broth: Sweat the onions, garlic and fennel over medium-high heat in extra-virgin olive oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and let reduce by half over high heat, 5 minutes. Add the tomato juice and both stocks. Add the basil and reduce by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the Crostini: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Season the pan with salt and pepper. Place the bread slices on the baking sheet and season the bread with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the bread with grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer the slices to the oven and bake until golden, about 5 minutes.
  3. For the Mussels: In a large pot over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add shaved garlic, shaved fennel, and shaved shallots. Saute until the vegetables are translucent. Add the mussels to the pot and cover with the tomato broth. Cover the pot and cook the mussels until they open, removing the mussels which open first and transferring to warm bowls. Reduce the broth by half. Add the chopped parsley, chopped basil, and chopped tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the cooked mussels and serve with the Crostini.