Tiella Pugliese | Italian Mussel, Potato and Rice Dish
This traditional, southern Italian dish bakes layers of potatoes, rice and fresh mussels into a delicious but unusual casserole that is sure to satisfy seafood-lovers!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
1 1/2 lb. (680g) live black mussels, clean
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
1 large russet potato, peeled and sliced into round discs
25 grape tomatoes, halved
Fresh black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley (about 2 tbsp)
Grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste
1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
1/2 cup (80g) carnaroli rice
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine
Breadbrumbs for topping
Open about 1/3 of the mussels, keeping each mussel intact in one of the shell halves. Place these aside carefully, trying to spill as little of the juices as possible. Discard the empty shell halves. The remaining mussels can be opened completely and the shells discarded. Place the shelled mussels in a bowl and be sure to collect all of the juices from the shells!
For our tiella, we used a terracotta pot with an 8-inch diameter. Any similarly-sized baking dish will work.
Evenly spread the olive oil in the bottom of the pot and sprinkle the sliced onion over it. Next, add potato slices into a single, even layer over the onion. Top this with about 1/3 of the tomato halves (evenly spaced apart), a generous sprinkle of black pepper, a big pinch of chopped parsley, the minced garlic clove, and grated pecorino cheese to taste.
Next, arrange the full mussel shells in a single layer to completely cover the surface. Carefully sprinkle the rice so that it fills the shells. Take the bowl of shelled mussels and drain the juices into a separate container. Evenly spread the drained mussels over the rice.
Next add a generous grating of pecorino, another 1/3 of the tomatoes, more parsley, and pepper. Now arrange a second layer of potato slices, followed by the remaining tomatoes.
Preheat an oven to 370 degrees F (185 C).
Filter the mussel juices through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth, then carefully pour it down the side of the dish so that it fills up the bottom. In a similar manner, repeat with the wine. Gently swirl the dish to evenly distribute the liquid.
In order to cook properly, there must be enough liquid in the pot to just barely cover the mussel shells. If the mussel juices and wine aren't enough, simply add some water.
Finish assembling the dish by topping it with a generous drizzle of olive and and a sprinkle of black pepper, breadcrumbs and pecorino.
Cover the dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake a further 20 minutes. Let it cool for 15-30 minutes before serving. Buon appetito!