In a large saucepan or pasta pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes. With a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the tomatoes lose their rawness, about 10 minutes.
2Add the wine and season with saffron, salt and pepper. Add the red pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste depending on desired heat (if using). Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until they open, 3 to 5 minutes.
3Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve over pasta or with a side of Bruschetta for dipping in the sauce.
4Recipe adapted from The Institute of Culinary Education, Techniques of Italian Cooking
—Kristen Hess, Author of theartfulgourmet.com