Stuffed mussels Livorno style - Muscoli ripieni alla livornese


2 dozen large-sized mussels  (about 450 gr.)


300 gr Beef

1 1/2 cups meat stock

80 – 100 gr dry crusty bread

1 heaping Tbs minced flat-leaf parsley

1 clove of garlic (minced)

Black pepper (20 turns pepper mill)

3-4 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 tsp salt

tomato sauce:

700 gr crushed peeled tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbs minced flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs tomato paste diluted in 3/4 cup of water

1 red hot chili pepper

6 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

liquid released from mussels

1 tsp salt


1 Tbs minced flat-leaf parsley



  1. Debeard and clean mussels.

  2. Open mussels over bowl to collect the liquid the shellfish releases. The two valves should remain hinged together. Set the liquid aside.

  3. Cut the stale bread up into cubes and moisten with stock. Let stand till bread has softened. Squeeze bread well of all liquid.

  4. Mix all the stuffing ingredients well in a bowl.

  5. Stuff mussels - place a tablespoon of stuffing on an open shell of mussel and press shut. Wipe off any excess stuffing that squishes out.

  6. Make the tomato sauce. Gently sauté the garlic, chili pepper, and parsley in 6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Flavou r the oil, but do not let garlic brown.

  7. After about 1 minute, or less, add the crushed peeled tomatoes and the tomato paste diluted in a cup of water. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Add the mussel juice you'll have kept aside. Salt. Lower heat and let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes.

  8. Gently place stuffed mussels into pan without stirring. Cover and let mussels stew for about 30 minutes. The sauce should not be too liquidy and should cling somewhat to the mussels. If the sauce should not be of the right consistency by the end of the cooking time, remove mussels with a slotted spoon, raise heat and reduce the sauce.

  9. Garnish with remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve.