Mussels in a Pepper Broth

This delicious appetizer can be prepared in as little as fifteen minutes.

Ischia is a volcanic island off the northern tip of the gulf of Naples, Italy. It’s not as well known to Americans as its sister island, Capri, but it’s a popular vacation destination for European and Asian tourists. In fact, German is the second language for many on the island because so many German tourists visit Ischia’s thermal hot springs every year, according to Wikipedia.

Natives of Ischia, like many Italians, prefer to have their main meal during the midday rather than during the evening, as we do in America.  Favorite recipes tend to be prepared seasonally, and include the freshest ingredients. Seafood dishes are a specialty. This recipe, called Impepata di Cozze, was created by Mario Batali during the Food Network’s “Island of Ischia Weekend Party.”

2 cups dry white wine
5 cloves garlic, crushed
8 dozen Prince Edward Island mussels, scrubbed, bearded and rinsed
1 cup flat parsley leaves, minced
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a large cast iron casserole, combine the wine and garlic. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the mussels and cook, uncovered, until they begin to open, about 3 minutes. As they open, sprinkle aggressively with parsley and black pepper. Once they are fully opened, remove from heat, sprinkle lightly with salt, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

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