The dish of the people who liked the king. The peppered mussels

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Recipes of the Neapolitan cooking.

Tasty, succulent and simply exquisite, peppered mussels are both simple to prepare and extremely versatile, since they can be served as an appetizer or as a second course. This typically Neapolitan dish was considered a poor man’s meal until chef Vincenzo Corrado included it in his recipe book The Gallant Cook.  Preparation couldn’t be simpler: clean the shells with a metal brush and a knife to remove incrustations and pull out the mussel’s ‘beard’, the thin cord coming out of the shell. Rinse in cold water, then heat the oil with the garlic in a large pan for a few seconds and add the mussels. Cover and cook for a few minutes over a high heat until the mussels open, shaking the pan occasionally to bring out the juices. It should take 5 or 6 minutes for the mussels to open from the moment they are placed in the pan. As soon as the shells begin to open, add a liberal sprinkling of black pepper and, if desired, a handful of chopped parsley. A few more seconds and they are ready. Serve piping hot with bruschetta and a slice of lemon.

Ingredients (serves four)

2 kg Mussels

2-3 cloves garlic

½ cup Olive Oil:

Plenty of pepper

Chopped parsley (optional)