Cleaning mussels is the first step to making sure the mussels are fresh and ready to use. Rinse them under cold water, remove any beards or threads hanging from the shell.
If you find any mussel shell open at that point, discard the mussel right away before cooking.
Make the marinara sauce using your favorite marinara flavors. I add celery here although it’t not typical, but because it pairs so well with the mussels.
Make sure you sauté the onions until they’re slightly golden before proceeding with your recipe. This is the best way to make sure your sauce won’t taste like strong onion.
Cook down the marinara before adding in the mussels. Remember the mussels will let out a good amount of liquid into the sauce as well.
If you prefer using fresh basil only to flavor the marinara and mussels, do so, however basil pesto is far more concentrated and tasty!
I urge you to make my Basil Pesto recipe, plus you’ll find all the tips you need for making a whole bunch and freezing it.
When you add in the mussels to the pot, make sure to give them a good toss in the sauce and close the lid.
5-8 minutes later, the mussel shells should open up. Cook them for an extra 5 minutes to allow them to soak up more sauce and flavors.
If any mussel shell after cooking remains closed and tight, discard the mussel right away. It’s not safe to eat.
Now serve the mussels marinara over pasta or with crusty bread and enjoy!