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Mussels Marinara with Fennel Sauce

Mussels Marinara with Fennel (Greece)

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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 6
Calories 310 kcal


  • 3 pounds fresh live mussels in the shell
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 large green peppers
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried fennel seed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces tomato/pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • Inspect mussels and discard any that are open or do not close when squeezed. Place in large stock pot with white wine, garlic and parsley (leave whole). Bring to a boil, then cover immediately and reduce to medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered while you do the other prep work.
  • Dice the onion. Slice the pepper into strips after removing seeds and stem. Chop the oregano and sage.
  • Grind the fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle (you could pound them or use a food processor). The seeds should be fully crushed with no whole seeds remaining.
  • Remove the mussel meats from the shells and hold them aside. Remove any beards that are noticeable. Discard the shells and parsley stalks, but reserve the broth for later.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté the onion till browned at the edges then add peppers and the ground fennel. Sauté another 5 minutes, then add the sage and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the mussel meats and the oregano to the sauté and toss so that the flavors mix - about 1 - 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. If you like a thinner sauce, add some of the mussel broth at this time. Stir together, add the hot pepper and paprika, then reduce to a simmer till heated through.
  • Once the sauce bubbles, remove from heat and allow to cool 2 - 3 minutes before transferring to a serving dish and tossing in the crumbled feta cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve family style.


Calories: 310kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 19gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 771mgPotassium: 784mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1121IUVitamin C: 66mgCalcium: 207mgIron: 7mg
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