1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
� cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound very ripe tomatoes, peel, seeded and chopped
? cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
? cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 ? pounds mussels
? cup minced Italian parsley


1. In a deep, heavy kettle large enough to hold the mussels, combine onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft. Add tomatoes, wine, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste, cover, and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
2. While sauce is cooking, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes, until golden; set aside.
3. Add mussels to sauce, stirring with a wooden spoon to mix well. Raise heat and cook about 10 minutes, removing mussels to large heated serving bowl with tongs or slotted spoon as they open. Any mussels that do not open after 10 minutes should be discarded.
4. When all the mussels are cooked, stir parsley into sauce and then pour simmering sauce over mussels in serving bowl. Sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Cultivated mussels, which contain almost no grit and very little beard, are widely available now; since they require very little cleaning they make preparing this recipe by Nancy Harmon Jenkins quick and easy. To clean the mussels, place them in a colander and rub them with your hands under cool running water. Discard any mussels that are very heavy, an indication that they are dead and full of sand, or that will not close when tapped, another sign that the mussel is dead. Use a sharp paring knife to trim any beards clinging to the mussels.

Mussels in White Wine  with Tomatoes, Garlic, Parsley and Breadcrumbs
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