Mussels Gratinata, A Taste of Puglia Cooking Class at Different Drummer Kitchen, 4/12 -

A Taste of Puglia
Puglia is the Heel of the Bootof Italy. Known as the bread basket of Italy, it is a highly agricultural region and at the same time is on the Adriatic coast. The seafood, grains and vegetables there are super local and  fresh and are eating seasonally.
Want a zucchini is spring? Not in Puglia. Non é la stagione!
The Pugliese are very set in their ways. They eat simple food, with clean flavors that change with the season.
These recipes are extremely minimal, yet beautiful. It is true Italian “Piatti povere” cooking

They celebrate the true flavors of the products used and have set the trend for many chefs styles in America today.

Mussels Gratinata
Did I mention that the Pugliese are…frugal?
Through necessity, they have developed many recipes that stretch the meal using bread.
These mussels are deliciously baked with a simple bread and and garlic topping. So simple yet so delicious.

Serves 4 -8
2 lbs mussels ( about 40)
1 glass of dry white wine
2 cups or more bread crumbs
2 tbls finely minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
zest of one lemon
pinch of crushed red pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat oven to 325
Clean and debeard the mussels.
Put them in a big skillet with a tight fitting lid. Over high heat, add the wine, cover and steam  for 2-3 minutes to steam open the mussels.
Remove the lids and pour the mussels and the cooking liquid into a bowl to cool.
When cool enough to handle remove and reserve the mussels and the shells separately.
Separate and reserve the shells.
Place one mussel in each shell.
Mix the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest, garlic and crushed pepper in a bowl. Add the reserved cooking liquid and stir. Drizzle in a little olive oil. You should have a damp crumb.
Put crumb on top of each mussel, packed in well.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

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