Mussels, as clams and oysters, are extremely nutritious as very delicious. Those plant-like bivalves could add to food security in aquaculture, that we need so much now. They filter their food from the water, cleaning thus gallons of water by day, and that of course improves the habitat for other sea creatures around them. It is obvious that the cleaner the sea, less hard work for them and purer and healthy product. Now is the high season for the “moscioli”, wild mussels of the Conero regional park area, Marche region, Italy, that starts from april and ends in september. Visitors of the Conero riviera, are ever so lucky to get to taste those exclusive sea gems. I made a simple sautéed version. Mussels are such a great food, just be careful of pick well when buying them.
In this period every year, a special celebration is organized at the Portonovo seaside, “Mosciolando”, enjoying this local product in different contexts, emphasizing always on creating ecologically friendly convivial moments in theme with the precious mussel of the Conero.
The “moscioli”, is an exclusive niche product, unique of a kind, that is catched entirely by the Fishermen Cooperative of Portonovo, Marche region. The fishing respects strict limits and is practiced by professional divers, that at 5-10 meters depth snatch the wild mussel from the Conero rocks, their dear habitat, with special stick with iron harpoons attached to them.
Their taste varies in the fishing period from april-october. In july and august you will get to savour the most tasty and precious ones. The particularly nutritious sea of the area, contribute to an extraordinary taste and nutriment of the “moscioli”, including the vital Omega-3
portion for 4-6
1.2-1.5 kg mussels
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots finely sliced
1 generous tomato
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2-1 cup dry crisp white wine, f.example verdicchio or Sauvignon blanc
crusty bread torn to pieces for serving
1. Rinse mussels under cold running water, pick them a little bit, pulling of beards and discarding any broken or open ones.
2. Heat the butter & oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the shallots and cook until soft and fragrant.
3. At this point add the mussels, wine, chopped tomato and half of the parsley, cover with lid and increase the heat.
4. Uncover the lid after a couple a minutes and toss the mussels with a spoon, cover the saucepan again and let the mussels cook for another 3-4 minutes until widely open and ready to be enjoyed.
5. Add remaining parsley, toss the mussels once again and then divide to plates together with the delicious broth and the crusty bread close by