Mussels Fra Diavolo Con Crema

Mussels Fra Diavolo Con Crema

mussels ingredientsToday I went on a field trip with my daughter. And to be honest with you, neither of us were particularly jazzed about the venue. You see, we live very close to the Cape Cod Canal. Matter of fact, we spend a lot of time there. So, when we heard that my daughter’s class was to visit the canal visitor’s center, we weren’t all that excited about it.

But I have to tell you, it was a great field trip. I’m not sure about my daughter, but I learned so much. As a frequent walker of the canal, I see all kinds of ships that traverse the waterway. And it was so interesting to learn what the ships carry and where they come from. While my daughter fidgeted and played with her shoelace I was rapt with attention. So much good information!

After the presentation was over, I made my way back to my car which was parked in a parking lot that was owned by a fish monger that I hadn’t visited before. Of course I had to check it out.

And I’m so glad I did. $35.00 later I came home with a bounty of mussels, chowder and salt cod. Not to mention some serious inspiration for future blog posts.

I big puffy heart love seafood.

Now, I’ve shared a recipe for mussels with you before, but that recipe was a white wine and garlic based dish. And while it is one of my all time favorite mussel recipes, I thought I’d share another favorite with you today.

Mussels Fra Diavolo Con Crema. Which is just a fancy way of saying spicy mussels with cream. It’s so much sexier in Italian, no?

mussels in red sauceCertainly this is sexy food. This is a dish you want to share with someone special. Just make sure that there’s a bottle of wine to go along with. Spicy mussels and wine are bedfellows indeed.

mussels in red cream sauceAs much as I love mussels, I think it’s the sauce that’s the true star of the show. Mussels are just the vehicle. Much like pasta, mussels are the carriers of whatever lusciousness they happen to be stewing in.

bread for musselsAnd let’s not forget about the bread. Mussels are small and you will certainly gobble them up before you finish off the sauce. That’s where a good loaf of bread steps in. You’ll need a crusty loaf of bread to sop up the leftover sauce. Look at it as an edible mop.

bread for mussels sauceBread and a spicy silken tomato sauce. Yup, this is date night food for sure.

mussels fra diavoloIf you are not a mussels fan, feel free to use shrimp instead. Matter of fact, the Fra Diavolo Con Crema sauce is wonderful over just about any fish fillet. Cod, salmon and even swordfish would all be great choices for this dish. But the crusty bread is required. And some Barry White during the meal wouldn’t be such a bad choice either.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Mussels Fra Diavolo Con Crema
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Rich and spicy mussels. Date night food at its best.
  • 2 lbs fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup shallots, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups seafood stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup tomato puree (canned tomate sauce is fine)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup light cream
  • chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add shallots and cook until translucent (about three to four minutes).
  2. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, stock, white wine and tomato puree (or tomato sauce). Reduce heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add mussels, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes. Mussels are done when all of the shells have steamed open.
  4. Pour cream and Parmesan cheese over top and toss the shells around in the sauce to coat. Pour the shells and sauce into a large bowl, garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread.


  1. Anonymous says:

    I love mussels Melanie! Your recipe looks and sounds fabulous, The pix of your finished recipe look marvelous!! I love spicey and this recipe sings to me. I can’t wait to try it!!

  2. I haven’t had mussels in years but this recipe is demanding to be made this weekend! Looks delicious!

  3. mmm, that sounds amazing!

  4. Indeed, everything is sexier in Italian! mmmmm this dish will have to make an appearance at our house soon!

  5. Yum! Every time I make mussels, I can’t get over how easy and fast it is. This looks different than my usual recipe, so I’ll give it a try for sure!

  6. Amanda says:

    If i were to use frozen mussels, how would I prepare them? Should I defrost them first? This recipe definitely looks amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I came across your recipe while I was searching the web for something to do with the mussels I had purchased. They came out amazing! I added a couple cloves of crushed garlic with the shallots, and I also added about 4 anchovies right after the shallots became translucent. They melted down and helped add some depth since I couldnt find seafood stock and had to use chicken stock instead. This recipe will be one of my go-to mussel recipes. Great site!

    • Melanie says:

      Yay! I’m so glad you liked it. I’m intrigued by your addition of anchovies. I bet that really added a lot of flavor and a velvety feel to the sauce. Clever!!

  8. making this tonight for date-night!

    will add some garlic as well…

    thanks for the easy but tasty recipe!

  9. Hey Melanie, I just wanted to give you a huge THANKS! This came out absolutely amazing! Competing with my boyfriends mom, whom is an experienced cook, especially when it comes to seafood- she grew up in Croatia(the seafood dishes there are godly). I was a little nervous that my attempt at this would fall short to my boyfriends acquired expectations. He loved it so much he refused to throw the leftover sauce away and continued to dip the rest of the loaf of bread in it. I also land the sauce over some past along with the mussels.
    Cheers to you….and to making me look good ๐Ÿ™‚ . can’t wait to make more of your recipes!

    • Yay!! I’m sooo glad it made you look good. That is the best compliment I could ever receive. Thank you so much for the feedback!!

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