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For a full serving of minerals

Apulian Cooking

For a full serving of minerals

They are low in calories but rich in many precious elements your body needs.

For health reasons they are best eaten cooked
by Novella Pranzo
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Freshly opened mussels.
Photo di Dario Ersetti

Tubettini with mussels


4 servings:


- 300 g tubettini pasta

- 1 kg of mussels

- 700 grams of tomato sauce

- 1 clove of garlic

- 50 cc of extra virgin olive oil

- a handful of parsley

- salt

- pepper



Nutrition facts per serving:


- energy: 443 kcal

- protein: 17 g

- fat: 15 g

- saturated fat: 1.5 g

- carbohydrates: 9 g

- sugars: 64.5 g

- fiber : 6.5 g

- cholesterol: 94.5 mg


       Mussels are a very versatile food source to cook with, just add a little seasoning and our palate is satisfied. They are a perfect ingredient for various recipes, and are easy to cook. The difficulty is in cleaning them: you need lots of patience and time.

       Mussels with tubettini is a classic in Mediterranean cuisine but there are also many other delicious dishes such as baked stuffed mussels, or the quick and easy bruschetta with mussels, and the fantastic mussels au gratin, or what about the typical Apulian dish of beans with mussels? Try them all!

       Tubettini with mussels is a very nutritious dish. Mussels are low in calories but are a noted source of vitamins (B12), minerals (iron and zinc, but also folic acid, phosphorus and calcium) and antioxidants. They contain a high level of protein and little fat. They also have digestive properties stimulated by the quantity of alkaline salts they contain. However, they are also rich in cholesterol, so anyone who needs to keep their cholesterol under control will have to limit their consumption.

       Pay attention to their storage and preparation: mussels must be consumed as fresh as possible. From when they are purchased, they can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than three days, preferably in a container covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out, and they can be frozen for about 3 months, but only if you buy them fresh. For health reasons, my advice is to eat them cooked, so as not to risk gastroenteritis or worse, getting food poisoning (Salmonella, Shigella spp, Salmonella Typhi, Hepatitis A virus).

       Before cooking and consuming them it is best to check that all the mussels’ bivalves are completely sealed and there is no associated foul odor, which are symptoms of a lack of freshness and contaminated food. Damaged mussels produce a toxin (mitilitossina) which can only be eliminated by cooking them, but if you do not notice the presence of this substance (which has a telltale bad odor), the consequences could be severe: in extreme cases, it can even lead to death, but due to increasingly stricter health regulations, these cases are now becoming rare.

       If the mussels are farm raised, it is necessary to check the package’s label which notes the place of origin, and collection and packaging dates.

       In conclusion, apart from the need for a little extra attention, mussels are a food source to be promoted: they are cheap and very nutritious, easy to cook and full of flavor. And last but not least, they are also an aphrodisiac!

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