All the flavours and colours of Naples are brought together in this delightful dish of mussels.
Scrub and de-beard all the mussels with great care. Wash them very carefully in several changes of water, then put them into a deep saucepan over a medium heat and steam them open. Shake the pan to encourage them, and remove them as they open up. (Discard any that do not open after 8 minutes.) Put them into a bowl, strain the juices from the saucepan into a second bowl and leave to settle: the aim is to end up with very little sand and sediment.
Chop 3 of the garlic cloves and fry them in the olive oil in a heavy, flameproof casserole with
Cut the remaining 2 garlic cloves in half and rub the bread with them. Lay the bread at the bottom of a warmed tureen or wide bowl and pour all the mussels and their liquid over it. Scatter with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.
© 1990 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.