Mussels Grilled with Tomatoes, Olives and Pancetta

12:53 am on 16 March 2010

(Serves 4–6)


  • 36 mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
  • 3 tablepoons olive oil, plus extra
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 150g finely diced pancetta
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, chopped coarsley
  • pinch dried red chilli flakes
  • 400g can crushed Italian tomatoes in juice
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs


Put the mussels into a deep frying pan with 1 cup water, bring to the boil and boil until the mussels begin to open, removing them to a bowl as they do.

Cool the mussels and remove the shell from each mussel that doesn’t have the mussel attached to it.

Carefully remove the tough tongue and white root from each mussel and detach the mussel from the shell but replace each in their half shells. Reserve the mussels on the half shell.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, pancetta, olives and chilli and fry gently for about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bring to the boil, mix well and boil gently until thick and jammy, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool. Taste and season.

Put the mussels in the half shell onto a ovenproof tray, side by side, meat side up.

Put a spoonful of the tomato sauce on each. Top with some breadcrumbs.

Dribble more olive oil over the top, then place under a hot grill and grill until well browned and bubbling.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Wild South 2009

Sauvignon Gris
Montana Reserve Marlborough 2009

From Nine To Noon

Find a Recipe

or browse by title