Steamed Mussels in Tomato Broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped and crushed to a paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped and crushed to a paste (optional)
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry white wine
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Half a lemon, juiced
4 pounds live mussels, scrubbed (if available, Prince Edward Island mussels are the best because they are the cleanest and most consistent)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
Crusty bread such as semolina or baguette, sliced and toasted, for serving
Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the shallots and sweat until soft but no color is achieved, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 30 seconds, season salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato sauce and anchovies and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the mussels, white wine, crushed red pepper, lemon, and butter, stir once gently, cover with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the mussels open, about 4 minutes.
Discard any mussels that do not open. Stir in the parsley and basil. Transfer the mussels and broth to a large bowl. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread or toasts.