The smokiness of the chilli here helps the sweetness of the mussels sing. This is a super-speedy supper that feels like so much more than the sum of its parts. Surprisingly, mussels are fairly inexpensive, so “treat” yourself! Mussels need a good scrub to clean off any dirty bits, and you need to yank off any “beard” that is hanging around where the shells meet. 

If, when you come to cook the shellfish, they don’t close despite a little agitation, you need to chuck them: they’re dead. Once cooked, any that did not open during the cooking process should also head to the food waste, as they’re not safe to eat.


Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cooking time: 30 minutes 




  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stick, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ancho chilli flakes
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 2 x 400g cans whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can white beans (cannellini or haricot), drained and rinsed
  • 750g live mussels
  • Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime
  • Small handful of fresh coriander, leaves torn
  • Bread or toast, to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7. In a medium-sized roasting tin, toss together the oil, onion and celery, and pop in the oven for 10 minutes or so until the onion and celery have softened and are beginning to turn golden.
  2. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and add the chilli flakes, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and garlic. Return to the oven for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and white beans. Season and pop back into the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the roasting tin from the oven once more and stir in the mussels. Return to the oven for a final three to four minutes until the mussels have sprung open (remember to discard any that remain closed). Top with the lime zest and juice and coriander, and serve with bread or toast.

Recipe from One Dish Fish: 70 quick & simple recipes to cook in the oven by Lola Milne (Kyle Books, £17.99). Order your copy from the Telegraph Bookshop

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2023-05-17T09:11:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd