Tuesday, 7 May 2013


"The guilty confessions of a foodblogger"- series continue. Today's episode: birthdays. We have a tradition, me and The Gentleman, that was born the first birthday we ever spent together seven years ago.

One of us (I'm not pointing fingers but it wasn't me!) had gone a bit giddy the night before and the glamorous evening and fancy dinner I had been promised for a while was reduced to a visit at... Pizza Hut. But if there's one thing that birthday taught me it was that sometimes it really is the right company that makes any venue and evening fancy. Since then it has become our annual tradition and trust me- still today that company feels every bit as right...

This year we celebrated my birthday apart, but traditions must be upheld. So, in addition to sangria, prawns with chorizo and scallops wrapped in Serrano ham I also made pizza tailor-made to his liking, but in a way that was more appropriate to the festive feel and surf & turf theme. Yes- pizzamussels!

Since the availability and quality of fresh mussels in Finland is a bit dubious, I used pre-cooked, frozen green mussels which are big and magnificently meaty. If you are, however, using fresh ones, steam them first and only use the ones that open. This recipe only calls for the half with the mussel attached to it.

In order to keep the stress levels to the minimun (and to give myself more time to hit that sangria...) I made my pizza sauce from passata, but naturally you can make it from the scratch by cooking the tomatos yourself.

Pizzamussels (makes 18)

18 big mussels
200 gr good passata
1 large garlic clove
8 big basil leaves, chopped
1/4 small onion, finely sliced
2 chillis, finely chopped
(adjust according to the chillis you're using - mine were small and scorching)
50 gr sliced chorizo, salami, pepperoni or some other spicy meat
200 gr good mozzarella
salt, pepper, sugar

Let the mussels thaw. Then pour out the excess liquid and pat dry. Place on a baking tray. Boil the passata in a pan over fairly high heat with garlic and basil until it thickens a bit. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Spoon about a tsp of the sauce on top of the muusel, top with s little bit of onions and chillis and the sausage of your choice. If you're using a whole mozzarella, slice it finely of press through a grater. Place the cheese on top of the mussels and bake in 250 ° for a couple of minutes until cheese has melted (remember - the mussels are already cooked).

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