Italians love shellfish and the way the prepare it is just sooo good! Whenever I am in Italy I treat myself to my favourite restaurant and enjoy a big fish meal. What I love most is barbecued shellfish: that smoky, chargrilled taste adds so much in flavour, it is just irresistible.
I have always been a big fish lover and I guess that began with my parents, who have always been fish lovers themselves.
They used to take us children regularly out for fish meals and I remember what a big treat that was. I grew to love fish more and more.
It is well known how taste buds start developing at a young age and they will stay with you for life. This is why it is so important to feed children with the best ingredients you can afford and to avoid making different meals. Italian children eat what their parents eat, full stop and if they don't like it well, bad luck, they probably will next time or the time after. They gradually get accustomed to new flavours and learn to appreciate them. This is the same in France, Spain and many other Mediterranean countries.
Back to shellfish, I made these gratinated mussels very similar to how I have them in my favourite restaurant. They are very popular in Italy as their crunchy topping makes them very tasty and moreish.
- Prep Time : 40 minutes
- Cook Time : 15 minutes
Clean the mussels by scraping them with a knife and taking off the beards
Stir fry the garlic cloves with 2 tbsp of olive oil
Add the mussels to the pan and cover with the top. Turn the heat up. Add the wine and let it evaporate. After 2-3 minutes all the mussels should be opened. Switch the heat off
Prepare the filling by chopping the bread into small cubes
In a bowl mix the bread with the Parmesan, 2 tbsp of olive oil, parsley and the filtered juice of the mussels. Add enough juice in order to get a soft mixture but not too soggy
Open the mussels, pull the fish off the shells and then put it back in again
Put the stuffing over them pressing well
Cook the mussels under the grill of the oven at 200C for 10 minutes until they get slightly golden in colour.