Mussels Baked with Basil and Tomato Sauce

A delightful dish for a family supper, Mussels Baked with Basil and Tomato Sauce is easy to prepare and fairly economical.

It may be served with buttered noodles and a crisp green salad. If fresh mussels are unobtainable,

1 ½ pounds of canned and drained mussels may be substituted.

1 tablespoon plus

1 teaspoon butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

12 lb. canned peeled tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or K tablespoons dried basil

3 quarts mussels, scrubbed, steamed and removed from their shells

2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With the teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the remaining butter with the olive oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, the salt, pepper and basil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mussels. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

In a small bowl combine the bread-crumbs and grated cheese, mixing until they are well blended. Sprinkle the mix-ture over the mussel mixture.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove the dish from the oven and serve.

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