August 26, 2006

Puglia....Tiella with mussels


Last trip we visited the more famouse towns, Lecce, Alberobello with it's trulli, Ostuni and Otranto. This year I wanted to see the other side. We headed over to Gallipoli and our trip was cut short due to my bad back..... but Egullet is talking about the cuisine of Puglia and I wanted to add my 5 cents!

I have lots of friends from Puglia and have been lucky enough to learn how to make Orecchiette, Stuffed Mussels and one of my favorite preparations for the lovely presentation and how easy it is to make is the Tiella con cozze, baked mussels.

Ceramics in Puglia are fabulous, last time we went to Grottaglie and picked up a few plates. This year I picked up a couple of simple clay cooking pots in a gas station with gift shop the first day. Good thing as I didn't have another chance to shop.

The Tiella is a clay glazed cooking dish.
I didn't have a flat one so used the bottom of my tajine.

Worked great!

Tiella con le Cozze

1 1/2 cups rice ( I used Basmati, as I like a lighter rice)
2 small red onions ( I had fresh Tropea onions from Calabria)
5 small potatoes, peeled and sliced thin ( I had Yukon gold)
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 pound mussels, steamed open and half the shell removed
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
6 tbs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 tbs breadcrumbs, plain
6 tbs grated cheese, ( hard sheeps cheese or parmesan)

Soak the rice in cold water while preparing the rest of the ingredients for the Tiella.

Oil the bottom of your pan.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Layer the sliced onions on top.
Cover with sliced potatoes.

Place the opened mussels on top.
Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes , chopped parsley and garlic slices.

Top with drained rice.

Add another layer of potatoes.
Season with more chopped tomatoes, parsley, garlic and grated cheese.
Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup if extra virgin olive oil on top.
Bake at 180 (350) for 1 hour.

When done, will absorb all the liquid and a knife will easily slide into the potatoes.


  1. Masterwork! I want to go!
    Sorry about the back. Hope you have someone to show you the exercises that avoid these things. They do work. If I did them always, instead of when I get a problem, I'd never have the problem.

  2. I know this well! It was a regular in Manfredonia.

  3. That looks absolutely divine. Excellent.

  4. Oh my gosh!! Tiella with mussels looks amazing! I will have to give this recipe a go! Cheers!

  5. Wow that looks divine!

    I've been a lurker in your blog for quite some time now. I'm a love of all things Tuscan and I live vicariously through your blog. It's such a delight. :)

  6. Love getting the feedback.. I loved this dish so much was temtped to teach it at school this week so i could east it again!

    Christine... thanks for stopping in from Manila!

    an Culinary chase from Hong Kong.. WOW