Rice, Potatoes and Mussels (Riso, Patate e Cozze or Tiella Barese) is a unique and traditional Apulian dish. It is made with poor ingredients: rice, potatoes, mussels, onion, garlic, tomato and grated Pecorino cheese.
Rice, Potatoes and Mussels can remember the Spanish Paella. In fact as Paella the name Tiella derives from the pot used to prepare this dish: a large and low clay container. “Tieed” in the dialect of Bari means just a pot.
This delicious dish is typical of the city of Bari but is made, according to each family’s own tradition, throughout Puglia.
To cook the typical rice potatoes and mussels, start by putting the rice in a bowl with cold water and rinse it. Clean the mussels externally with a metal wool pad and wash them under running water.
To open the mussels uncooked, press lightly, slide one of the two valves forward until you hear the typical "clac", inserting a small knife between them and sliding it until the shellfish opens; move the mussel on a single valve and eliminate the other, collecting in a bowl the liquid that will come out of it
Filter the water with a fine sieve or a cotton cloth, to eliminate all the impurities and keep it aside.
Sprinkle the base of the pan creating a base with excellent extra virgin olive oil and sliced onions.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into slices no more than ½ centimeter thick, they must be homogeneous to allow uniform cooking.
Make a first layer of potatoes, on which you will place some tomatoes and parsley.
Sprinkle with the cheese, a little pepper and more oil.
Make a layer of mussels, using them all, with the fruit facing upwards.
Sprinkle with the rice making sure it gets into the open mussels.
Chop the garlic and sprinkle it with the rice, along with other slices of onion, parsley and even cheese and oil.
Grind plenty of pepper over the entire surface.
Make the closing layer with the remaining potatoes, making sure to cover them completely.
Complete with the remaining tomatoes, sprinkle again with the cheese and add a little more oil.
At this point the Tiella is composed, you just need to add the liquids.
Insert the filtered liquid of the mussels laterally and complete with water, up to the limit of the last layer, without exceeding it.
The right quantity of liquids is what is obtained when, lightly pressing the surface of the last layer, the water appears on the surface.
Bake at 200 ° in a static oven for 45/60 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked and an appetizing golden crust has formed.
The Tiella is excellent if eaten warm, so as to allow its flavors to mix up well.
The Tiella from Bari is kept for a day in the fridge, covered. Before serving, warm it up for a few minutes in the oven!
To prepare the Tiella from Bari you can use either the more delicate parmesan, or the more tasty pecorino romano, depending on your taste.
If you can't open the raw mussels, as the Apulian tradition requires, you can make an exception to the rule: let the mussels open in the pan for 2 minutes and shell them, always keeping the mollusk in a single valve. Collect the water that has formed and proceed with the recipe.