Libby's Cafe + Bar
Address: 1917 Osprey Ave., Sarasota, FL 34242
Executive chef: Fran Casciato
Hours: Opens at 11:30 a.m., Monday through Saturday; 10:30 a.m. for Sunday brunch
Known for: Creative comfort food with small and large plate options in a friendly, neighborhood-bistro style setting
Hot Pot Black Mussels
Yield: 4-6 servings
4 pounds Prince Edward Island Mussels
1 #10 can authentic San Marzano whole plum tomatoes
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced, peeled, whole cloves of garlic
1 each Spanish onion small dice
2 bunches fresh basil, leaves cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/4 Tablespoon red crushed pepper
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Cup pinot grigio
• For the base San Marzano sauce, saute the onion and half of the garlic in 1/2 cup of the olive oil until clear and tender. Sprinkle the red crushed pepper and dried basil into the pan and cook two minutes. With your hand lightly crush about half of the plum tomatoes; you want some chunky love in the sauce. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan and simmer 15 minutes, add the salt and pepper and set aside.
• For the mussels, add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil and garlic slivers to a large saute pan and cook until tender. Add the mussels and white wine and cover. Cook about four minutes until mussels start to open. Add half of the tomato sauce and all of the basil and continue to simmer until mussels are open.
• Ladle into soup bowls, add a drizzle of olive oil and some Italian-style breadcrumbs sprinkled on top (optional). Serve with grilled baguette slices or bread for dipping.
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