Tiella pugliese is a hearty layered casserole similar to potato gratin or paella. The name “tiella” refers to the cooking vessel as well as to the food inside it. Typically, a tiella is made of terracotta, but a cast iron skillet also works well for this recipe.
One of the tricks to making a good tiella recipe is seasoning the ingredients sufficiently. You will notice that the directions below call for a number of seasonings between each layer, including olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, and parsley.
In addition, the mussels should be opened on the half shell. There are two ways of doing this: by shucking them raw or by briefly steaming them and then removing the portion of the shell not attached to the meat. Either way, when you open the mussels, make sure to reserve the liquid to pour over the final layer of potatoes.
Tiella is a traditional dish from Puglia made with rice, potatoes, mussels, onions, and tomatoes. It should be cooked in the oven for about an hour and a half, making sure the potatoes are soft, the mussels and rice are cooked through, and the top is golden brown with a crispy gratin. This family dish is typical of what you’d find in homes in the city of Bari.
Other Pugliese recipes: