A lot of restaurants from different countries have mussels on their menus – for most, they are a very popular dish.

Each region of the world incorporates mussels in their recipes in many different ways. In this article, I will show you how we cook them Amici style!

For me, personally, I love mussels – they have been one of my favourite dishes since I started on solid foods.

I have tried and tasted them from all over the world in so many different ways. So when I found myself with my own restaurant, I had the opportunity to put mussels on the menu and share with people my most favourite way of eating them – the Italian way.

When I think of mussels, I think of sitting next to the harbour in my father’s home city in Italy – Naples – eating what seems to be a giant’s portion of mussels with an even larger pile of empty shells, knowing the fact they have literally just been pulled from the sea. So, when it comes to my own menu, freshness is the most important thing to me.

During my travels, I have been fortunate enough to come across a small Scottish fishery, whose mussels are simply divine and close enough for me to get the freshness I am looking for.

They are big, juicy and full of flavour, but only for part of the year. October to April is the best season for mussels. Outside of these dates, they are still available, but the size is greatly reduced. For this reason, I have not included them in my al la carte menu, but save them for my specials board, so when they run out – which they always do – that’s it until next week’s delivery.

The recipes I will be showing you use fresh mussels. Unless you have connections to Scottish fishmongers, then you can buy these from your local supermarkets. Remember the seasons as these will affect the sizes of the mussels – October to April for the best harvests.

The green-lipped mussels are extremely nice when fresh, but they are native to New Zealand, so the only way to get them over here is frozen, which for me doesn’t quite taste the same.

I will show you how to prepare and cook the mussels and how to make a variety of sauces for them.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Buon appetito



It’s best to clean the mussels under cold, running water.
Fill up a large container with water and put the mussels in. The mussels that stay open are dead and need to be thrown away – you cannot eat these.
You will need to remove the ‘beard’, which is the brown strands that stick out from the shell (some of the supermarkets do this for you already).
Place a knife under the beard and your thumb on top, and pull them away from the shell. Also remove any barnacles that might have attached themselves to the shells as well – this won’t affect the flavour, just the presentation. Then drain the water off.
The procedure for cooking the mussels is the same for whichever sauce you want to add.
I will firstly explain how to cook them, and then give you a list of ingredients that you simply add to the mussels when they’re cooked.
In a medium-sized saucepan, add the mussels and some olive oil, cover and cook over a moderate heat.
Cook until the mussels open up – usually about five to ten minutes – and drain the excess water off.
Now your mussels are ready, here are a list of a few different ways you can eat them. Just add the ingredients and cook for a further five minutes and enjoy.
Plain – crushed garlic, diced shallots, salt and pepper, white wine, chopped parsley and garnish with lemon wedges
Marinara (tomato and chilli) – crushed garlic, chopped parsley, diced shallots, chopped chilli, halved cherry tomatoes, olive oil, white wine and passata (tip: add some fresh linguine for a beautiful pasta dish)
Alla Crema (cream and white wine) – crushed garlic, chopped parsley, diced shallots, olive oil, white wine and cream
Curry – crushed garlic, chopped coriander, diced shallots, white wine, cream and curry powder