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Home > Recipes > Mussel Recipes > Seafood in Fennel Tomato Broth

Photo and Recipe Credit: Robert Chambers

Steamed Mussels in a Tomato and Fennel Broth

Ingredients (see notes below) – 3-4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces diced pancetta (or bacon)

1 ½ cup thinly sliced fennel

½ cup thinly sliced medium onion

¼ cup thinly sliced shallots

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 ½ cup dry white wine (may also use Pernod) (½ cup for deglazing, 1 cup for creating broth consistency)

2 tbsp. tomato paste

2 cups peeled/diced canned tomatoes (or fresh)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 lbs. mussels

2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


1. Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.

2. Add the pancetta and render until crispy, 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Add the fennel and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the onions and shallots and sauté, stirring often for 1 minute.

5. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

6. Raise the heat to medium high and deglaze pan with ½ cup white wine; reduce until nearly evaporated, about 3 to 4 minutes.

7. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 cup wine; bring to boil. (NOTE: Add additional white wine if sauce is too thick to make it like a broth).

8. Add the mussels and stir once, cover with lid, and cook until the mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid after mussels open and stir in basil and parsley.

9. Serve in large deep bowls with Sourdough for dipping.


1) Mussels – you can change the seafood ingredient or add additional depending on preference or availability, such as adding some other type of shellfish (shrimp, clams, scallops, etc.)

You may need to increase the broth if you add more seafood or amount of servings; you can increase the amount of canned tomatoes, or add tomato juice or clam juice.