1 red or green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
small glass dry white wine
1 tsp tomato paste
pinch of sugar
1kg cleaned mussels
good handful basil leaves
Put the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water, leave for 3 mins, then drain and peel. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out and discard the seeds using a teaspoon. Roughly chop the tomato flesh.
Heat the oil in a large pan with a tight- fitting lid. Add the garlic, shallot and chilli, then gently fry for 2-3 mins until softened. Pour in the wine and add the tomatoes, paste, sugar and seasoning (mussels are naturally salty so take care with the salt). Stir well and simmer for 2 mins.
Tip in the mussels and give them a stir. Cover tightly and steam for 3-4 mins, shaking the pan halfway through, until the shells have opened.
Discard any shells that remain shut, then divide the mussels between two bowls and add the basil leaves. Provide a large bowl for the empty shells.