You will need:
The Best Red Sauce Ever:
- 2 big cans (36oz) whole tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup good olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 entire head of garlic, smashed and chopped
- 3/4lb of sweet onions (1 large onion) diced
- 1/2lb carrots finely diced
- 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
- 6oz can tomato paste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6 Cloves crushed garlic
- 2-3 Teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Dried Chipotle Peppers, cut in half or fourths
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 Cups of the Best Red Sauce Ever
- 3lbs Medium Sized Mussels, scrubbed, and de-bearded
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Now, cook the sauce! Dump the cans of tomatoes into a clean bowl, wash your hands and crush the bowl of tomatoes into a bowl of tomato mush! This is a great job for the kids, if you can convince them NOT to make a mess! In your big pot, heat the oil over medium high heat until it's good and hot, then add the onions and carrots. Stir them together, then add the garlic and bay leaves. Cook and stir until they're well caramelized and nice and brown (15 minutes or so). Add the tomatoes, their juice, 1.5 cups of hot water, the tomato paste, oregano, salt & pepper. Stir some more and let it bubble and simmer until it reduces by a couple of inches.
Keep two cups of the sauce for your Mussels and store the rest in an airtight plastic container (or mason jars).
Let's cook the Mussels! With 2 cups of your new sauce in your big pot, bring it to a nice simmering bubble and add the additional Garlic, White Wine, Chipotle Peppers, and Red Pepper Flakes. Simmer this mixture, just below a boil, for about 20 minutes. This will rehydrate the Chipotles and allow the Wine to break out some alcohol soluble flavors from the rest of the dish.
Moments before serving time, drain your Mussels and add them to the 2 cups of sauce you have in your pot!
Let them settle into the sauce with it boiling and bubbling around them. Replace the lid and leave the Mussels alone for about 5 minutes. Take the lid away and stir everything together for another 3 or 4 minutes. The Mussels will be done when they're fully opened and a little bit firm. This should take less than 10 minutes of total cooking time.
Remove from the heat, garnish with the Parsley, and serve!