Pasta with beans and mussels

Pasta with beans and mussels finished dish

Pasta with beans and mussels finished dish

Napoli crestPasta con fagioli e cozze.  From Naples. This is a variation on the classic Neapolitan dish of pasta and beans. The pasta is cooked in the sauce which makes it very tasty. Serves 4.

  • 700g mussels, cleaned
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 450g cooked cannellini beans (You can use canned if you like)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 200g short pasta such as ditali, gnochetti sardi etc
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Red chilli to taste, fresh or dried
Pasta with beans and mussels ingredients

Pasta with beans and mussels ingredients

Soften the garlic in a little olive oil. Add the mussels and the wine, cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels have opened. About 5 minutes

Pasta with beans and mussels opening the mussels

Pasta with beans and mussels opening the mussels

Remove the mussels from their shells and strain and reserve the cooking liquid.

Pasta with beans and mussels cooking the pasta

Pasta with beans and mussels cooking the pasta

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the beans. Stir in the tomatoes, the reserved cooking liquid and the stock and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is done (refer to the packet for cooking times).

Remove from the heat, stir in the mussels and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and chilli

Baked mussels

Cozze ripiene gratinate. This is quite an unusual mussel recipe. Mussels baked on the half shell are a very common antipasto here, but this recipe treats them a bit like the French scallop dish coquilles saint-jacques. They are baked with white sauce, cheese and wine. Serves 4 as a main course, many more as part of an antipasto.

Baked mussels finished dish

Baked mussels finished dish

Baked mussels ingredients

Baked mussels ingredients

Clean the mussels well. Place them in a pan along with half the clove of garlic, a sprig of parsley and the wine. Open the mussels by placing the pan over a high heat. Drain the mussels and filter and reserve the cooking liquid. Remove them from their shells.

Baked mussels opened with cooking liquid

Baked mussels opened with cooking liquid

Mix the mussel meat with 2 tbsp of olive oil, a chopped sprig of parsley, the rest of the garlic, chopped and a tbsp of the cooking liquid. Season with pepper.

Baked mussels removed from their shells

Baked mussels removed from their shells

Place each mussel on a half shell.

Baked mussels on the half shell

Baked mussels on the half shell

Mix together the white sauce, the egg yolk and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Top each shell with some of the mixture.

Baked mussels with white sauce

Baked mussels with white sauce

Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top and bake at 190°c for 15 minutes.

Mussels alla marinara

Cozze alla marinara. All dishes called alla marinara were originally prepared by fishermen from the ingredients readily available to them on board. This dish is very simple, but delicious all the same.

  • 2 kilograms Mussels, cleaned
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Plenty of pepper
  1. Heat a dry pan to a high heat.
  2. Add the mussels and plenty of black pepper.
  3. As soon as all the mussels have opened, remove from the heat and sprinkle on the parsley.
  4. Serve in bowls along with the liquid they released during cooking. Mop up the juice with some crusty bread.

Stuffed mussels

Cozze ripiene. From Bari. This recipe was given to me by Marilisa – thanks a lot for taking the trouble. They were delicious 🙂 It’s actually her granny’s recipe and Marilisa’s favourite. The recipe seems a bit daunting as you have to open the raw mussels, but it’s really not that difficult. Follow the link below if you want to know how. Serves 4-5

Stuffed mussels ingredients

Stuffed mussels ingredients

  • 1 kilogram large mussels
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 bread roll — crust removed
  • parsley — finely chopped
  • 100 grams Pecorino Romano or Parmesan — grated
  • milk
  • olive oil
  • garlic to taste — finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • kitchen string
  • 2 bottles passata
    • Clean the mussels and open them keeping the shells attached
    • Soak the bread roll in a little milk and tear into small pieces.
    • Beat the eggs in a bowl and mix with the cheese, garlic, parsley and bread. Season with salt and pepper.
    • Add breadcrumbs little by little until you have a fairly dry stuffing mix.
    • Stuff the mussels with the mixture and tie them almost closed with kitchen string. Don’t tie them too tightly as the stuffing has to come into contact with the cooking sauce.
Stuffed mussels ready to cook

Stuffed mussels ready to cook

  • Heat some oil in a large pan and add some chopped garlic. When the garlic has coloured add the tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Add the mussels and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  • Remove the mussels from the sauce and remove the string.
  • Serve the sauce with spaghetti or linguine as a first course.
  • The mussels can be served as the second course or as part of an antipasto (hot or cold)
Stuffed mussels finished dish

Stuffed mussels finished dish

Stuffed mussels with pasta finished dish

Stuffed mussels with pasta finished dish

Tiella of potatoes, rice and mussels – Authentic recipe

Bari crestTiella di patate, riso e cozze. Tiella alla Barese. Riso patate cozze. Finally the definitive recipe! This recipe was given to me by Tiziana who is one of the best cooks in Bari (or so her friend Rosa tells me 😉 ) Many thanks Tiziana. It uses mussels which have been opened when they are still raw. My fish monger did this for me, but in the UK you’ll probably have to do this yourself. Here’s a link to show you how. Good luck 🙂
Serves 6
Tiella ingredients

Tiella ingredients

  • 1.5kg potatoes, sliced
  • 300g risotto rice, soaked in cold water
  • 1kg mussels, opened on the half shell – reserve the liquid
  • onions, sliced
  • olive oil
  • garlic, chopped
  • parsley, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • pecorino Romano, grated
  • parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper
  1. Assemble the tiella as follows in an ovenproof dish, preferably terracotta
  2. A layer of onions drizzled with oil
  3. A layer of potatoes seasoned with garlic, tomatoes, parsley, sat and pepper, cheese. Drizzle with oil
  4. A layer of mussels seasoned with garlic and parsley. Drizzle with oil
  5. Drain the rice and distribute it over the mussels. Season with garlic, tomatoes, parsley, sat and pepper, cheese. Drizzle with oil
  6. A layer potatoes.
  7. Add the water reserved when you opened the mussels. Add water so that the final layer of potatoes is just covered
  8. Cover tightly (maybe with alumnium foil) and bake at 180°C for up to two hours. Test from time to time with a skewer.
  9. Uncover for the last 20 minutes of cooking to brown the top.
Tiella finished dish

Tiella finished dish

 

 

Carrot and mussel soup

trentino crestCrema di Carote e Cozze. This dish is from Trentino Alto Adige so it is heavily influenced by it’s northern neighbours. Don’t tell my Barese friends, but I found it rather good 🙂 Serves 4

 

carrot and mussel soup ingredients

carrot and mussel soup ingredients

  • 32 large mussels, cleaned
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 700g carrots
  • 70g butter
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • sugar
  • salt
  1. Dice half of the carrots. Fry in half the butter with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar until caramelized. Put aside.
  2. Finely chop the rest of the carrots. Fry in the rest of the butter for a few minutes with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Add the stock, cover and cook until the carrots are soft. Liquidize.
  3. Put the mussels in a pan with the wine and garlic. Place over a high heat until the mussels have opened. Shell the mussels. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve.
  4. Reheat the carrot purée. Add the mussels and their cooking liquid and the diced carrots. Served with the chopped parsley sprinkled over each portion.

carrot and mussel soup finished dish

 

Tiella alla Barese

Bari crest

This is another tiella recipe from Bari. It’s not completely traditional as the mussels are not raw when added to the tiella, but if you don’t fancy opening all those mussels it’s a fair approximation. I’ll post the ‘authentic’ recipe later.

Tiella ingredients

Tiella ingredients

  • 400 g potatoes, peeeled and thinly sliced
  • 200 g risotto rice
  • 700 g mussels, cleaned
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 200 g tomatoes, peeled, deseed and chopped
  • pecorino cheese, grated
  • pepper
  1. Boil the rice until al dente. Reserve some of the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat the mussels in a pan with a little oil and the chopped garlic. When they have opened, remove from the pan. Strain and reserve the liquid. Remove the top shell from each mussel.
  3. Assemble the tiella in a ovenproof dish. Make layers of the ingredients in the following order – potatoes, rice, onions, tomatoes, a little cheese, parsley. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used up, finishing with a layer of potatoes.
  4. Pour the liquid from the mussels over the tiella. Add some of the cooking liquid from the rice so that the level of liquid comes about two thirds of the way up the dish. Season well with pepper (not salt as the mussel liquid will be quite salty). Drizzle olive oil on top.
  5. Bake uncovered for around 35 minutes at 180C. Add a layer of mussels in the half shells, drizzle on a little more oil and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Easy tiella alla barese

Easy tiella alla barese

Tiella of mussels and potatoes

Bari crestThis is another classic dish from Bari. A tiella is a terracotto cooking dish thought to have been introduced by the Spanish. The ingredients are built up layer by layer in the dish and then baked in the oven. Tiellas were at one time the evening meal of the farm workers when they came in from the fields. They were made from whatever was abundant and cheap at the time. This version uses mussels, a staple of Pulgia.  Serves 4

tiella of mussels and potatoes ingredients

  • 1kg mussels, thoroughly cleaned
  • 500g tomatoes, sliced
  • 300g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • pecorino, grated
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

  1. Heat the mussels in a pan with a little olive oil until they open. About 5 minutes. Reserve the liquid
  2. Remove the top shell from each mussel
  3. In an oven proof dish, preferably terracotta, put a layer of  half the tomatoes, then all the onions, half the parsley and half the garlic.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil.
  5. Then make a layer of the sliced potatoes.
  6. Make a layer of mussels in their half shell and top with the rest of the parsley and garlic
  7. Sprinkle plenty of pecorino on top and drizzle with some more olive oil.
  8. Bake at 180 C for 35-40 minutes

tiella of mussels and potatoes finished dish 1

tiella of mussels and potatoes finished dish 2

Mussels ‘au gratin’

mussels au gratin ingredients

  1      kilogram  mussels — thoroughly cleaned
  100 grams  bread crumbs
  2      sprigs  parsley — finely chopped
  1      chilli — finely chopped
  1      clove  garlic — finely chopped
          zest of a lemon — finely chopped
          olive oil

  • Open the mussels by putting them in pan with a little olive oil and heating for around 5 minutes
  • Remove the top shell from each mussel and arrange them in a single layer on a baking tray.
  • Mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, chilli, garlic and lemon zest in a bowl.
  • Add a little olive oil and mix again. Keep adding olive oil in the way until the mixture has a ‘crumble’ like consistency
  • Top each half shell with a little of the mixture.

mussels au gratin assembled

  • Bake for around 15 minutes at 200 C

mussels au gratin finished dish

Mussels ‘au gratin’

mussels au gratin ingredients

  • 1 kg mussels,thoroughly cleaned
  • 100g bread crumbs
  • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • zest of a lemon, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  1. Open the mussels by putting them in pan with a little olive oil and heating for around 5 minutes
  2. Remove the top shell from each mussel and arrange them in a single layer on a baking tray.
  3. Mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, chilli, garlic and lemon zest in a bowl.
  4. Add a little olive oil and mix again. Keep adding olive oil in the way until the mixture has a ‘crumble’ like consistency
  5. Top each half shell with a little of the mixture.mussels au gratin assembled
  6. Bake for around 15 minutes at 200 C

mussels au gratin finished dish

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels

This is a semi-soup. Be careful when adding the cooking liquid from the pasta, you don’t want it to be too sloppy.  Serves 4

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels ingredients

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels ingredients

  • 400 grams  mussels — thoroughly cleaned
  • 200 grams  Gnocchetti sardi
  • 1 clove  garlic — finely chopped
  • a few chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • 4 sprigs  parsley — finely chopped
  1. Put the mussels in a pan along with a little olive oil, the garlic, parsley and chilli
  2. Cover and cook over a high heat until the mussels open. About 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the mussels, reserving a few for decoration, and return to the pan.
  3. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid.
  5. Add the pasta and the reserved cooking liquid to the mussels.
  6. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes and serve.
Gnocchetti sardi with mussels finished dish

Gnocchetti sardi with mussels finished dish

Taranto mussel soup

taranto crestTaranto produces some of the best mussels in the world. They are often eaten raw as an antipasto, but I have to say, I prefer them cooked. This simple soup is a great way to have them.  Serves 4

taranto mussel soup ingredients

  • 1kg mussels, cleaned thoroughly
  • 300g tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, whole
  • 1 chilli, whole
  • 4 sprigs  parsley, chopped

  1. Open the mussels by heating them, along with a little oil in a covered pan. Reserve the liquid.
  2. In a seperate pan, fry the garlic and chilli until the garlic is nicely browned. Remove the garlic and chilli and discard.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the oil, season with salt and cook over a medium until the tomatoes break down to make a sauce. About 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat from most of the mussels, reserving a few for decoration.
  5. Add the mussels along, the cooking liquid and the parsley to the tomatoes and heat through.
  6. Serve with crusty bread or crostini

taranto mussel soup finished dish