Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style)



Apulia is famous for its sun, beaches, sea, and orecchiette; but those who love this region cannot help but also love the Apulian cuisine: tasty dishes in their simplicity... like fried mussels or those we present today: Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style), which we propose in this recipe! A kind of mussel soup perfect to serve as an easy and quick appetizer! The flavors are reminiscent of a classic sauté, but the slightly spicy tomato sauce makes the Taranto-style mussels a delicious and complete dish! The perfect mix: the tenderness of the mollusks, the body of the tomato, and the crunchiness of the hot bread: no one will be able to resist and will surrender without hesitation... to making a scarpetta!


Mussels 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
Canned tomatoes 1 ¾ cup (400 g)
Garlic 2 cloves
Fresh chili pepper 1
White wine 1.8 oz (50 g)
Extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp (40 g)
Black pepper to taste
Fine salt to taste
Parsley to taste
To accompany
Bread 8 slices - Apulian

How to prepare Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style)

To prepare the Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style), first, take care of the mollusk cleaning. Rinse the mussels under running water 1, then using the back of a knife remove all external impurities 2 and pull off the beard with a firm motion 3.

Pour half of the indicated amount of oil into a pot and add a whole peeled garlic clove 4; let it turn golden and pour in the mussels 5. Add a whole sprig of parsley and the white wine to deglaze 6,

then cover with a lid 7 and let the mussels open 8: it will take about 4 minutes, as soon as they open you can turn off the heat. In the meantime, remove the seeds from the chili pepper and chop it finely 9.

Pour the remaining oil into another pot, add the chili pepper and the other crushed garlic clove 10, let the sauté brown over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Then add the tomato pulp 11, season with a grind of pepper and a pinch of salt (just a pinch because the mussels are already very flavorful), being careful not to overdo it because the mussels will already be very flavorful 12. Let the sauce cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring it occasionally.

Strain the mussels, collecting the broth in a small bowl 13, so that you can pour it more easily into the sauce 14. Let it cook for another 10 minutes; in the meantime, remove the garlic 15 and parsley from the mussels and set them aside.

Only the crunchy accompaniment is missing: slice the Apulian bread 16, place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle with a little oil 17, then toast it for a few minutes in the oven under the grill at 480°F for 3 minutes, until it is well browned 18.

Once the sauce is ready, add the mussels 19 and stir 20. Then finely chop the parsley 21

and add it to your Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style) 22. Wait another 3 minutes, sprinkle with a generous dash of black pepper if you prefer, stir one last time 23 and serve the Taranto-style mussels along with the toasted bread 24!

How to store

It is recommended to consume the Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style) immediately. Freezing is not recommended.


Transform the Cozze alla tarantina (Mussels Taranto Style) into a main course by using their sauce with your favorite pasta shape!

For the translation of some texts, artificial intelligence tools may have been used.