Mussels and Crab in Tomato Sauce

Posted on Dec 5 2014 - 1:25pm by Marianne

This dish goes way back in my family. I love seafood and I love using my hands to eat food (hence why I love chestnuts, artichokes and crab etc) We grew up going on holidays to the beach, looking for octopus on the rocks, pi pi’s in the sand and lots of fishing. Fishing is my favourite hobby, although I do not go fishing as much as I used to due to getting sick on the boat and having a family to look after now. But I must say the very first time we took our son fishing, he was the only one to catch a fish that day.

One memory about this dish was before sitting down to enjoy it I would change my shirt, knowing that I would get absolutely messy and me and my dad would use so many tea towels to wipe our hands on. I never thought twice about my dad always leaving me the bodies of the crabs (the best part) until now when I feed my kids, I don’t end up with much crab at all.

Mussels and Crab in Tomato Sauce
Serves 4
Must have while eating this dish - A bib or change of clothes - A nut cracker each to use on claws - Large bowl for the shell scraps - Lots of hand towels or bowls of water to clean hands.
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  1. 1 kg (2.20lbs) black mussels
  2. 3 large blue swimmer crabs
  3. 750mls to 1000mls (1 Lt) (25.3-33.8oz) of tomato passata (depending if you want a lot of sauce left over - sugar-free)
  4. 1 onion finely chopped
  5. 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  6. handful of parsley
  7. 1 tsp sea salt
  8. chilli (optional)
  9. ghee
  1. Clean the mussels by pulling off the "beard" on the side of the mussel and scraping any residue off the shell with a knife. Place cleaned mussels in an empty saucepan and turn on the heat to high. Cover with a lid and shake the pot to force the mussel to open under the heat. Do this until they are all opened then drain the salty juices away and set the pot with mussels to the side.Discard any unopened mussels.
  2. Clean the crab by removing its top shell, and pulling its insides out and rinse with water. Break apart to make two halves. Leave legs and claws intact.
  3. In a large saucepan sauté the garlic, onion and salt in ghee until cooked and softened about 10 min.
  4. Pour the sauce and half of the parsley into the saucepan and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes covered stirring often.
  5. Add the crab and submerge them in the sauce. With the lid on, pick up the saucepan with tea towels by the handles and shake the contents so that all the crab is coated with the sauce. Do this about 2 x in the cooking process.
  6. Bring sauce to the boil again. Crab is ready when the shell has changed to an orange colour and the meat is flaky.
  7. Add the mussels to the pot and cover for a few minutes and then shake the pot up and down to coat everything with the lid on.
  8. Cook covered for another 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top and serve in a large bowl.
  1. ENJOY
Gusto Paleo
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Marianne found success with Paleo eating when she did a Whole 30 challenge with her husband in 2014. She hit her goal weight and improved her health and wellbeing. Marianne started giving Paleo makeovers to many of her families' traditional recipes and decided to share it with everyone on her Gusto Paleo blog.

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