Rice, potatoes and mussels is a typical Puglian dish. It is found in the Bari area and in the province of Taranto; the two versions are known locally as ‘Tiella Barese’ and ‘Tiella Tarantina’. The name derives from the ‘tiella’ pot traditionally used to prepare the dish: a wide, low clay baking dish in which rich and succulent dinners were prepared for the peasant workers. Because people were often very hungry, the ingredients were poor and there was little time available, the peasants used to use anything to hand: vegetables, rice, potatoes and mussels (the most economical and available seafood). It was cooked over the embers, a metal cover was placed over the top and more coals were placed on top, thus simulating baking in the oven. The result was uniformly excellent, just as yours will be when you make this dish!