Tiella barese (riso, patate e cozze)



Tiella barese (riso, patate e cozze)

Tiella barese, or "riso patate e cozze", (rice potatoes and mussels)... although the name may vary slightly, the preparation must adhere to certain essential rules! This typical Apulian dish is made entirely with raw ingredients, which are added in layers inside a single pan, the tiella. The mussels must be opened raw, a task that may seem difficult at first but will become easier with practice! Another key element of the recipe is the mussel water, which is poured into the pan to allow the rice to cook and absorb the flavor of the seafood. Is that all? Absolutely not! According to tradition, the tiella barese cannot be without Pecorino Romano cheese, cherry tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Now that you know all the theory, it's time to put it into practice and bring the true 'ris patan e cozz' to your table, no matter which region of Italy you are in!

Try the recipe also in the stuffed tomatoes with rice, potatoes, and mussels version and don't miss out on other Apulian culinary specialties:

  • Fava beans and chicory
  • Apulian bombette
Arborio rice 1 ½ cup (300 g)
Mussels 1.1 lbs (500 g) - (to clean)
Potatoes 0.9 lb (400 g)
Pecorino Romano PDO cheese 5.3 oz (150 g) - (to grate)
Cherry tomatoes 3.5 oz (100 g)
White onions 2.5 oz (70 g)
Parsley 2 tufts
Garlic 1 clove
Water 1.3 cups (300 g)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

How to prepare Tiella barese (riso, patate e cozze)

To prepare the tiella barese (rice, potatoes, and mussels), first peel the potatoes 1 and cut them into slices about 1/4 inch thick using a mandoline 2. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half or quarters, depending on their size 3.

Clean and thinly slice the onion 4, then do the same with the garlic 5. Finally, chop the parsley leaves 6.

Now take care of cleaning the mussels raw: remove the beard and scrub the shells with a scouring pad, then insert the tip of a sharp knife between the shells and run it along the flat side of the mussel. Start from the tip and continue to the other end 7, then use the knife tip to detach the mussel from one of the shells. Discard the empty shell and set aside the half containing the mussel 8. Perform this operation over a bowl to collect the mussel water, then filter it 9 and set it aside.

You're ready to assemble the tiella: take a baking dish about 11 inches in diameter (ideally a terracotta or ceramic pan) and oil the bottom, then distribute about half of the onion and garlic 10. Place half of the potatoes on the base to form the first layer 11, then add some cherry tomatoes 12.

Sprinkle with some grated Pecorino cheese 13 and parsley 14, season with salt and pepper 15.

Drizzle with a little olive oil 16, then place the mussels with the shell side down to form the second layer 17. Sprinkle again with some Pecorino cheese 18.

Season with more parsley 19, salt, and pepper. Rinse the rice well under running water 20, then distribute it evenly over the mussels 21.

Season with salt, pepper, the remaining onion 22, some cherry tomatoes 23, olive oil, and a little parsley 24.

Sprinkle again with Pecorino cheese 25. Form the last layer by placing the potatoes over the entire surface 26, then add the remaining cherry tomatoes 27 and some parsley.

Cover everything with plenty of Pecorino cheese 28, then season with salt and pepper. Finally, pour the filtered mussel water into the pan, making sure to pour it along the edges 29. Add enough water in this way to almost reach the level of the last layer of potatoes 30.

Bake in a static oven at 430°F for about 50 minutes 31. If it is not golden enough on the surface at the end of cooking, turn on the grill for another 5 minutes 32; the potatoes should form a nice crust, while the inside should be dry. Once out of the oven, cover the tiella with a cloth and let it rest to allow the flavors to blend better. Serve rice, potatoes, and mussels warm 33!

How to store

The tiella barese (rice, potatoes, and mussels) can be stored in the refrigerator for one day in an airtight container.


Instead of cherry tomatoes, you can use vine tomatoes. If you prefer, you can omit the garlic and add only the onion. Did you like the idea of using just one pan? Then we also recommend the recipe for pasta and potatoes tiella, typical of Calabrian cuisine!