If you are from Apulia you have to be able to cook this dish!
The main ingredients are only 3, mussels, potatoes and rice, but the good seasoning is the secret to make a very tasty dish: excellent extra vergin oil, juicy and ripe tomatoes, a bit of parmesan or/and pecorino cheese.
INGREDIENTS for 6 servings
1 kg potatoes
400 gr risotto rice
1 kg mussels
1 onions, sliced
extra vergin olive oil
3 / 4 tomatoes, chopped
20 gr pecorino Romano, grated
20 gr parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
round baking pan with high sides (~30 cm)
3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
Open on a half shell the mussels and reserve the water inside, is very important to use this water during cooking. Cut the peeled potatoes in thin slides. Assemble the ingredients as follows:
drizzle with oil the bottom’s pan, make a layer of potatoes with onions, salt and pepper and tomatoes,
a layer of mussels with the fish on the top (see a picture), distribute the rice over the mussels. Season with tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, a half of cheese. Drizzle with oil.
Finish with a layer of potatoes, season with salt, pepper, cheese and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with oil, add about a glass and half of water (reserved when you opened the mussel and filtered) or a quantity so that the final layer of potatoes is just covered.
Cover the pan with aluminium foil and bake at 220°C for 50 minutes. Put off the foil and grill the last 10 minutes until the top is brown and crunchy. Test with fork if potatoes and rice are cooked.
If you can’t open the raw mussels follow this method: steam the mussels in a pan with a tight-fitting lid just until they open. Remove half the shell of each mussel, reserve the water and throw away the mollusk that did not open.
Tips: to be served with cold Verdeca, Falanghina or Bianco di Gravina.