Tiella Barese, also known as Riso, Patate e Cozze (Rice, Potatoes and Mussels), one-pot meal, is a typical dish of the city of Bari from which it takes its name. It is a rather rich and hearty first course made with layers of potatoes, mussels in their shells, Pecorino cheese, tomatoes and rice, all typically placed uncooked in an earthenware pot and then put in the oven.

Tiella Barese is very similar to the Spanish paella due to the Spanish domination of southern Italy in the 1500s.

The term Tiella originally indicated a pot with a lid, over time it became the name for a variety of dishes cooked in an oven dish.


Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 50-60 mins

  • Mussels with their shell, cleaned: 1 kg
  • Peeled Potatoes : 600 g
  • Arborio or Roma rice: 350 g
  • Fresh garden tomato, cherry or vine tomatoes. : 200 g
  • Pecorino cheese, grated: 150 g
  • Half White onion, medium-sized: 1
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 5 tablespoons
  • Peeled minced garlic clove, 1
  • Parsley, chopped: about 1 sprig
  • Salt and black ground pepper: to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350 F / Gas 4.

If you use fresh mussels, rub the shell with a small knife or a metal sponge to remove impurities and pull out the byssus inside.
With frozen ones, skip these steps but have a look at them anyway. In either case, rinse them under running water before opening them with a knife and collect the water in a bowl, then filter it through a fine-mesh sieve.
Set them aside.

Finely slice the potatoes, onion and tomatoes. You can also chop the potatoes if you like. Finely chop the garlic together with the parsley.

Take an earthenware baking dish, add 3 tablespoons of oil, make a first layer with the onion slices, then arrange the potato slices, a pinch of salt, a handful of chopped parsley and garlic, then the tomato slices, and a generous handful of grated Pecorino cheese, then the mussels. Place the uncooked rice on top. Pour the filtered mussel water into one side of the pan.
Form another layer in the same way and finish with the tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkle with plenty of grated Pecorino cheese and 2 tablespoons of oil.

Pour water from one side of the baking dish until it is just below the gratin layer.

Bake in the preheated static oven putting Tiella in the lower part of it for about 50 minutes or until the top layer is gratinated.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about half an hour.



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