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NOVEMBER - Patate, riso e cozze

Posted by TEAM TDSV on 2021-03-18
NOVEMBER - Patate, riso e cozze

 Baked potatoes, rice and mussels

serves 6-8
This is one of the only dishes our auntie Antionetta can make! Still living in the family home in the old town of Bari (Bari vecchia), we of course visit her every time we go to Bari. We have such wonderful childhood memories from there – running through the old town, chatting to all the old ladies sitting outside their terraced houses, making the orechetti, going to the castle, eating massive slices of water melon and Zia Antionetta’s Patate, riso e cozze.
Sometimes known as Tiella Pugliese, it is a hearty casserole of mussels with rice and potatoes, something like a cross between paella and a potato gratin. Although it requires a few preparatory steps and then a layering of different ingredients, it is a remarkably easy dish to make—after it is assembled it almost cooks itself!
Like most traditional dishes, there are numerous variations of Patate, riso e cozze. But I do believe this is one of the simplest and the best – after all, Bari is the place where it was invented and that is where our family are, where they grew up and where I have collected all the recipes! The term ‘tiella’ is the terracotta dish/bowl in which the rice is cooked. As this dish requires layers, a deep dish is best – even if it is not made of terracotta.
Ingredients:
1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½ cm rounds
1 kg black mussels – cleaned, hair removed and opened (only half with the mussel and the liquid from the mussels is required)
(ask your fishmonger very nicely to open them for you, otherwise, you may need to check this online)
250g rice (risotto or yellow rice is best)
450g tinned tomatoes - chopped
1 Courgette finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic – peeled and finely chopped
1 Bunch fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
200g Pecorino or Parmesan cheese – grated
1 large onion finely chopped
Terre Di San Vito’s extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Water
 
Preparing the Patate, riso e cozze:
Heat your oven to 200
Let’s begin the layering!
We are aiming for 3 layers for this dish.
 
LAYER 1
In your chosen baking dish/tiella, lay all of the finely chopped onion and cover with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil – so that the base is lightly covered
Add a layer – 1/3 of the sliced, raw potatoes on top of the chopped onion
Add 1/3 of the chopped parsley
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
Add ½ the chopped garlic
Season with black pepper
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
½ the raw mussels
All of the rice
 
LAYER 2
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
100g Pecorino or Parmesan cheese – grated
The rest of the chopped garlic
A little black pepper
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Add 1/3 of the chopped parsley
½ of the sliced courgettes
Add the second layer of the sliced, raw potatoes
Sprinkle more of the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Season with black pepper
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
POUR OVER THIS LAYER, THE LIQUID FROM THE MUSSELS YOU HAVE KEPT ASIDE
 
LAYER 3
Add the final 1/3 of the sliced, raw potatoes
Add 1/3 of the chopped parsley
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Season with black pepper
Sprinkle the last of the Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
Add the last of the sliced courgettes
 
From a jug, carefully pour in to your baking dish/tiella, sufficient water to just cover all the ingredients
Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil
 
Bake in your pre-heated oven at 200 for approx. 90-120 minutes
Check the dish after an hour – see if you need to add any more water. You do not want the dish to be dry too early as the rice and potatoes will need the liquid in order to cook through.
 
When all the water has evaporated, when the potatoes and rice are cooked and when the top had turned a golden colour and has a crisp top – your Patate, riso e cozze is ready!
 
To serve:
Place in the centre of the table and serve!
Buon appetito!
 
 
Top tip:
Although not traditional, if you cannot find them, you can also simply buy shucked mussels and use them, without their shells.
Wild mussels need to be soaked and trimmed but most mussels these days are raised in ‘farms’ and come ready to use.
The potatoes should, be of yellow-fleshed or a ‘waxy’ variety.
The main ‘trick‘ to a good Tiella Pugliese, is to season the dish adequately—more than you may think you need and to make sure that the rice is done to the right point, neither chalky nor mushy. You can test the rice by gently opening the top layer of potatoes and trying a few grains.
Add a bit more water (or mussel juice) if you find the rice is not yet ready, or if the tiella is drying out too much—and continue cooking.
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito’s Il Vescovo award winning red wine.

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