Ligurian-Style Stuffed Mussels

Preparation info

  • Serves


Appears in

Everything on the Table

Everything on the Table

By Colman Andrews

Published 1992

  • About

I got this recipe from Gianni Franzi, who owns the popular trattoria that bears his name in the storybook-pretty village ofVernazza in the Cinque Terre, on the Italian Riviera.


  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 2 pounds (35 to 40) fresh small mussels, cleaned *
  • 1 slice French- or Italian-style bread, crusts trimmed and discarded, soaked in milk for 10 minutes
  • 2 slices mortadella, minced
  • 3 to 4 sprigs parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt


Preheat oven to 400°.

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onion, carrot, and garlic in a little oil until they begin to brown.

Meanwhile, with an oyster knife, sever the muscle at the back of each mussel and pry open the shell. Cut each mussel out of its shell and set aside, reserving one half-shell for each mussel.

Chop raw mussels coarsely and mix them in a large bowl with the onion mixture and all other ingredients. Add salt to taste.

Generously fill each half-shell with mussel mixture, then place stuffed mussels side by side in a large baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes.

* To clean mussels, discard any that may be open, then scrub exteriors well with a stiff brush under cold running water. Pull off stringy beards if necessary, then cover with cold water in a large pot for at least 1 hour. Repeat process, rinsing well after final soaking.