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Recipe for :

Moules au Basilic et à la Tomate

This recipes comes from a web site which to me must rank as one of the sites having the finest recipes on the internet. It is the web site of Peter Hertzmann and is called à la carte.

What is à la carte about? This is best described in Peter's own words:

"I’m obsessive. All my life, when something interested me, I became obsessed with it. I learned all I could about it. I lived it! . . . I’ve been obsessive about food as long as I can remember. I am now obsessive with French cookery - its preparation, materials, history, politics, and culture".

To learn more why not visit the à la carte web site - <click here>


2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
3 large plum tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, peeled, slightly crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme
coarse salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
100 milliliters dry white wine
500 grams mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
6 large basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add half the shallots and sweat briefly.
  • Add the tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, and the thyme sprig. Season with coarse salt and a little black pepper. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and paste-like, about 15 minutes. When done, remove and discard the garlic and thyme, cover, and set aside.
  • When the sauce is almost done, melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sweat the remaining shallots briefly. Increase the heat to high. Add the wine, garlic, and a little black pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the mussels, cover the pot, and cook the mussels until they open. Drain the mussels briefly and combine with the tomato sauce. Cook further over high heat for about 4 minutes or until the sauce is dry.
  • Divide the mussels between serving bowls. Sprinkle the basil and parsley over the mussels.

Serves 2

Alain Senderens, La cuisine Réussie, 1981, page 70.

To visit the à la carte web site - click here