Weeknight Cooking

Spicy Mussels with Pancetta and Fresh Tomatoes

August 12, 2014

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A dinner that encapsulates the best parts of the seashore (and leaves the sand behind). 

Shop the Story

Mussels star in many of my summer memories. I'd often eat them after a day at the beach, when a shower to wash off the day's grit was necessary before diving hands-first into dinner. These mussels capture those memories, but leave out the sand. The broth is spicy, rich, and studded with fresh tomatoes, and it runs as easily down one's arm as it soaks into crusty bread. Give a glass of wine to the mussels, and keep the rest for the table.

Spicy Mussels with Pancetta and Fresh Tomatoes

Serves 4

1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 ounces thick-sliced pancetta, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup red wine
2 pounds fresh mussels
4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped (about 2 cups)
Crusty bread for serving

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photo by Caroline Wright

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.