Mussels, Chorizo and Tomato Ragout on Garlic Toast

These soup-like shellfish stews occur all around the Mediterranean coastline. Smokey chorizo and spicy chilli’s enhance the sweet flavouring of the mussels. Serve with deliciously crusty rustic-style bread.


Serves 4

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteFresh mussels should just smell faintly of the sea. Most of the shells should be tightly closed when you get them, or they should close up when given a light squeeze or gentle tap on the side of the sink.
Entertainer's TipAllow between 600g and 750g of mussels per person for a main course.
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  • 200g good quality cooking chorizo, skinned
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 large garlic cloves, 4 finely chopped and one left whole
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 1 tsp sweet pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 400g tomatoes, fresh or from a can- skinned and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 100ml fish stock, chicken stock or water
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1.25kg rope grown mussels- cleaned
  • 4x2cm thick slices rustic white bread
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut the chorizo in half lengthways and then across into thin slices. Put the olive oil into the casserole and place it over a medium heat. As soon as it is hot, add the chorizo sausage and fry for 2 minutes until lightly coloured. Stir in the onion, garlic, dried chilli and pimento. Place on the lid and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is very soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine and stock or water and simmer without the lid for 10-15 minutes until it has reduced by about half.

Put the sherry vinegar and sugar into a small pan and boil until reduced to 2 teaspoon. Stir it into the tomato sauce and season lightly with salt and some black pepper.

Heat a large, ridged griddle pan over a high heat. Whilst the griddle is warming, tip the mussels into the tomato sauce, cover and cook over a high heat for 4 minutes until all the mussels have just opened. Half ways through cooking give the mussels a good stir. Meanwhile, add the slices of bread to the griddle pan and leave them to toast, pressing down lightly on them with a fish slice, until they are nicely golden and marked with the bars from the griddle. Rub one side of each slice with the remaining whole garlic clove. Place a slice in the bottom of 4 large, warmed soup plates and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Uncover the mussels and stir in most of the parsley, coasting the mussels with chorizo and tomato sauce as you do so. Spoon the mussels and plenty of sauce on top of the garlic toasts, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve straight away.