Baked mussels is a classic dish that Nonna Romana has carried with her from her days in Mola di Bari, Puglia. Even when times were hard, mussels were always plentiful in the fishing village, so plentiful that you could practically go down to the beach and scoop up your own! Baking them with a savory, garlicky mixture of cheese and bread crumbs is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to make an impressive appetizer. You might want to make a few extra because these are addictive!
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°c).
2. Open all of the mussels and leave the fruit on the half shell, discarding the other shell halves. Reserve the juice of the mussels in a glass. Set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, add the cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, parsley, olive oil, milk, and black pepper, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. The mixture should be quite soft.
4. Arrange the mussels in a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan. Add any juices from the mussels to the pan.
5. Using two small spoons, drop about 1 teaspoon of stuffing over each mussel and spread to completely cover.
6. Bake the mussels for 20 minutes, and then piace under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Nonna Rosa Says
Make sure you broil these after baking so they get some good color. The best part is the golden brown crust on the outside!