Biagio (Bill) Marra juggles many tasks in his work as a Windsor City Councillor for Ward 8 and Vice President of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Changing Lives Together Foundation for Hôtel-Dieu Grace Health Care. He brings the same passion for serving others when creating meals in his kitchen. A favourite dish is mussels al salsa Calabrese Biagio over fettucine, loaded with mussels, shrimp, scallops and squid.
“My family has enjoyed this wonderful Calabrese recipe each and every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember!”
Mussels Al Salsa Calabrese Biagio
• 1 head of garlic - chopped
• 1 large yellow onion - chopped
• 5 stocks of celery - diced
• 4 large carrots - sliced
• 1lb (454 grams) cherry tomatoes - diced
• 4lbs (908 grams) Prince Edward Island Mussels
• 1lb (454 grams) Fettucine
• ½ bottle (375 ml) white wine
• 1 lb (454 grams) seafood medley (your choice of baby shrimp; baby scallops; squid – all or some or none – your choice)
• 2.0 – 2.5 Litres of Homemade Tomato Sauce/Strained Tomatoes or purchase “Passata Di Pomodoro”
• Olive Oil
• Salt & Pepper
• Freshly chopped parsley
• Chili Peppers (optional)
• Wooden Spoon – an absolute must for authenticity!
Fill/cover the entire bottom of a large cooking pot with olive oil and place over medium heat. Once the oil is heated up add the chopped onion – cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until the onion is fragrant and soft. Add chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes. Add sliced carrots along with diced celery stocks and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes while mixing/stirring well with your wooden spoon – don’t forget the wooden spoon! Add strained tomatoes/passata along with white wine – cook/simmer for 45–60 minutes until such time carrots are cooked. Add your seafood medley of choice and add diced cherry tomatoes and cook for 2–3 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add mussels and simmer/steam until shells are open (discard shells that do not open) – take your time with this next step (15–20 minutes). While your mussels are simmering/steaming bring separate pot of water to a boil and add your pasta of choice – for this dish I recommend fettucine. Homemade Calabrese Bread is always nice however your local bakery will always have a nice choice for your own taste. Enjoy your “Mussels Al Salsa Calabrese Biagio” over your plate of fettucine and a few mussels on the side in a nicely garnished bowl with the chopped parsley. Don’t forget to add the chili pepper if you like it hot and of course scoop up every bit of that sauce with a chunk of bread.