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These Spicy Mussel’s Secret Ingredient? Salsa de Pimentón

2 servings per can of mussels

For these mussels, La Bodega infuses its own Salsa de Aperitivo with hot chili; if you can’t get theirs, we’ve provided a recipe below. It won’t be the same, but it will still be tasty! For a party, plan for 1 can for every 2 people.

Spicy Preserved Mussels on Toast

From La Bodega by Cúrate, Asheville, North Carolina; Instagram: @labodegabycurate


  • 1 baguette
  • Olive oil and large-flake salt (such as Maldon), as needed
  • 4-ounce can Spanish mussels in marinade (La Bodega recommends Conservas de Cambados brand)
  • 1 bottle Cúrate Salsa de Aperitivo (or Salsa de Pimentón*)
  • 1 jar piparra peppers, drained


Heat oven to 350°F. Slice baguette into 1-inch-thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake until the bread is warm but not yet toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove to a serving platter.

Open the mussels tin, making sure to reserve the liquid. On each toast place 3 mussels, then spoon over about 1/2 teaspoon of the marinade. Dab mussels with salsa and garnish with a piparra pepper. Serve at room temperature. Serves 2 per can of mussels.

*Salsa de Pimentón

Blend 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 4 cloves garlic, 1 seeded jalapeño chili, 1 tablespoon smoked or sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon sugar until smooth. Bring to a boil in a small saucepan, then let cool to room temperature.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2023 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!