Italian baked mussels recipe

The term le gratin (pronounced gra-TAN, with the French deep-in-your-throat ‘r’) is a French expression that refers to the social elite. To help myself remember, I always think of le gratin as the “upper crust” of society, evocative of the French dish that was no doubt the inspiration behind this colloquial expression.

Italian cookery holiday in Sorrento, Italy - delicious cozze gratinate

Gratin is a culinary technique in which the key ingredient of the dish is topped with a browned crust of breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg or butter. I prefer just breadcrumbs and butter, but if you like them all, go crazy. Served piping hot in its baking dish, this is a treat not just for the tastebuds, but also for the eyes.

While the gratin originated in France, the Italians have their own take on the crusty dish, making mussels the star of the show. Take a peek at this authentic recipe from our chefs in Italy.

 

COZZE GRATINATE (Baked Mussels)

Active Work Time 45 minutes; Total Prep Time 1 hour
Serves 4

1 kilo mussels
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil
1 lemon
Breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Rinse mussels in cold water, removing beards. Using sharp knife, open and remove mussels from shells. Save half the shells.

3. In baking dish, arrange mussels in half shell.

4. Combine garlic, mint and parsley; sprinkle on top of mussels.

5. Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs.

6. Drizzle with juice of one lemon.

7. Drizzle with olive oil.

8. Bake 15 minutes or until breadcrumbs are nicely brown. Serve immediately.

 

Can’t get enough? Make a trip to Italy on a cookery holiday and learn to cook under the guidance of our expert chefs.