Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

These Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce are truly remarkable! If you are a seafood lover then you will certainly adore this recipe!

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

For one, it’s really rather simple to put together and can easily be made on any week night. Yet, so impressive and elegant enough to serve on weekends for that special person in your life. They do say that mussels are an aphrodisiac after all!

My hubby is not a finicky eater except when it comes to mussels and linguine with this spicy tomato fennel sauce. Then he can get quite specific as he prefers the sauce thick and chunky allowing the mussels to cradle all that delicious goodness in its’ shell.

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

Tomatoes and fennel pair wonderfully together in this dish. Also, the crushed pepper flakes lends a lovely contrast to the sweet fennel and might I add, a splash of white wine makes the whole dish livelier.

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

Being more affordable then other shellfish, mussels are very rich in protein and contain a lot of mineral nutrients. They also have far less fat and a 1/4 of the calories of beef making them a healthier choice.

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

Mussels prepared this way are really quite tasty on their own, especially when served with fresh crusty bread to mop up all the juices. I love to compliment them by serving them up with Linguine. They are so delicious and I know you will love them too!

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce

Buon Appetito Amici!

*Tips on Buying and Cleaning Mussels:

When buying mussels, look for bright undamaged and closed shells. Stay clear of mussels that have dry shells as that is an indication of a dying mussel.

Mussels are fairly easy to clean. Simply place mussels in a bowl and fill with cold water.
Let them soak for 20 minutes. Soaking them helps the mussels to release the nitty gritty sand stuck inside the shell.
Clean the outer shell by scrubbing with a firm brush.
Pull out the beards by holding the mussel in one hand while using the other (with a small cloth) to pull the beard down towards the hinge part of the shell. Alternately, you may also use scissors to cut off the beards.

When cleaning mussels discard any that have broken or cracked shells or any mussels that do not close when tapped on a hard surface.

Also as a general rule, if any mussels do not open once cooked, I discard those as well.

Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce
Mussels Linguine with Tomato Fennel Sauce.The mussels are smothered in a spicy, chunky tomato fennel sauce. Easy and delicious for any day of the week.
Recipe type: Pasta, Seafood
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed clean *(see tips)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced fennel ( ½ half medium sized fennel bulb)
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced carrots (1 medium sized carrot)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chili pepper
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 24 ounce jar Passata (strained, crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh basil (or a handful of chopped basil)
  • 454 grams Linguine
  1. Tomato Fennel Sauce
  2. In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
  3. Add in the fennel, onions, carrots, minced garlic and crushed chili pepper.
  4. Sauté for about 6 minutes or just until the fennel and onions are translucent and soft.
  5. Stir often taking care not to burn the garlic.
  6. Add the white wine and passata (strained, crushed tomato) with 2 cups of cold water to the vegetable mixture. Stir well.
  7. Add in the salt, pepper and basil. stirring well.
  8. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer till thickened for about 40 to 45 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.
  10. When the water has reached a roaring boil, salt the water and toss in the linguine, stirring well.
  11. Cook according to package instructions.
  12. While the pasta is cooking, add the cleaned mussels to the tomato fennel sauce. Cover and let simmer for about 7 minutes. By this time your pasta should be ready. (Time it so that the linguine and sauce are ready at the same time.)
  13. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and transfer to a serving bowl.
  14. Top the linguine with the mussel, tomato fennel sauce.
  15. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  16. Serve while still warm.




  1. Omg pasta with mussels is one of my favourites and reminds me of holidays in Italy 🙂 Gorgeous photos!

  2. Oh wow, I LOVE mussels and don’t eat them nearly as often as I should. What a great recipe Marissa!

  3. Perfect lighting, nice set up, nice choice of colors, this is my all time favorite. Can’t wait for the next post .

  4. Such a great dish! Love the addition of fennel. Perfect summer lunch. 🙂

  5. This is one beautiful dish! I only eat mussels when I travel because I can’t get them where I live, sadly. So I’ve actually never cooked them, either. But I’m saving the recipe in any case – just in case we rent a little villa somewhere on the coast in France or Italy… One can dream!

    • lol….if one can dream then we must dream BIG! and renting a little villa in Italy is right up my alley. I might just join you there! 🙂

  6. We often have mussels with or without the pasta, but I had not thought to add fennel to the mix, what a wonderful pairing. I look forward to preparing your version the next time I buy mussels.

  7. Thanks for sharing the delicious recipes Marisa.

  8. Wonderful dish Marisa! yumm

  9. Mussels are one of my fav sea-food!! This looks simply stunning!

  10. What a beautifully photographed dish and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

  11. I love mussels and I love linguine with mussels, but can you believe that I’ve never bought them here in Canada? I wait when we go to Italy to have a huge plate 🙂 . Maybe I’ll just have to trust the vendors, but it doesn’t help thinking that we’re so far away from the ocean… Anyway, your recipe sounds delicious and the pictures just show that! 🙂

    • I know exactly what you mean! On our last trip to Italy my cousin Dario brought us to a beach in Gaeta and while we were sunbathing he swam off by the cliffs with a bag in hand collecting mussels…guess what we had for supper! It does not get fresher than this !! I would definitely look for a reputable fishmonger in your area, this dish is so worth it 🙂

  12. I’m with you on cooking muscles this way with bread or French fries. I love the supporting flavours here, especially the passata. Have a great long weekend Maria!

  13. Wow, this looks amazing! I love that you added fennel and your photos are mouth watering!

  14. Hilary from Cocoa Bean, The Vegetable

    I love mussels and linguine! I’ve only ever eaten it out though. I might just have to give it a try at home now!! 🙂

  15. Hi Hilary, sorry for late reply! Just found your comment in my spam folder and it is now recovered. Do give it a try you will love them! It’s a simply dish with lots of flavor 🙂

  16. This recipe looks so amazing! I’m gonna try it❤️

  17. Pingback: Oven Roasted Potatoes and Fennel - Marisa's Italian Kitchen

  18. Just found your great recipe and it reminded me that I should have some mussels again very soon! Looking Forward to it! Thanks for sharing.