Recently we had my family over for an open house. We have been in our new place for a while now and not everyone had been here to see it. So we decided to do a luncheon. I had two ideas going into this party â€“ I wanted to make something rustic and old-school hearkening back to the times that Italians stopped what they were doing to enjoy a nice lunch spread together out in the fields, on a big slab of wood turned into a table. Also along this theme, I really wanted to make something using ingredients that we already had at home.
Too many times when preparing for a party, I decide on a menu and then go and buy all the ingredients. This time, I wanted to challenge myself more and use what was around. We had been to the Farmer’s market the day before and had gotten our staples: potatoes, tomatoes, squashes, onions and beautiful bread. We also had a bag of frozen mussels in the freezer. So I decided to make a regional dish from Puglia, called Tiella di Cozze or Mussel Casserole â€“ it is said to have descended from Spanish Paella. Since we were having a crowd, I also added some shrimp to the dish, which was topped off with a delicious bread crumb and parmesan topping! It was wonderful.
We served it with a nice green salad,Garlic-Rosemary Foccacia from Maria, the bread lady at the Farmer’s Market and finished with a
Yogurt Carrot Cake with Toasted Hazelnuts . Keep reading for the recipes.
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