Armed with some knowledge from the Food Network and a couple recipes as reference, I managed to whip up a pretty tasty dinner with stuff I had in the cupboards:
(adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c vegetable broth or white wine
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
pinch each of dried basil, herbes de Provence, and sugar
1 lb mussels, scrubbed and beards removed
In a large pot, saute onion and garlic until soft. Add broth or wine and let reduce slightly, then add tomatoes and seasonings. Bring to a simmer, then add mussels. Cover and continue to simmer lightly until the mussels open, which only take a few minutes. Discard any mussels that haven't opened.
Serve over your favorite skinny pasta (I used capellini) with some crusty bread to soak up the sauce.