Pepperoni Rice Stuffed Mussels with Lemon Aioli

from Chefs Angie Rito & Scott Tacinelli

Simple Salsa Caldereta de Pescado (Menorquín Inspired Fish Stew)
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Inspired by the flavors of Spanish paella with an Italian-American twist, mussels are stuffed with a pepperoni and tomato flavored rice to create a unique, handheld appetizer.


Watch Scott and Angie prepare this dish in our Chefs. Home. Cooking. film series.


  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 lbs. mussels in the shell, scrubbed and debearded
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 oz. pepperoni, finely chopped in the food processor
  • 2 Tbsp. Mutti® Triple Concentrated Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 brown anchovy, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup Calasparra rice, or any short-grain rice 
  • 1 cups mussel stock (from instructions below)
  • ¼ cup Mutti® Tomato Puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice 

To make the Lemon Aioli:

  • 1-3/4 cup Kewpie or Japanese style mayonnaise
  • 3 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • Black pepper to taste

Stir ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. 

How to prepare

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 cup of the olive oil over medium heat and lightly toast garlic, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir in parsley and then add the mussels and wine. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the mussels barely start to open. Remove the open mussels immediately and transfer to the refrigerator to cool. Discard any mussels that do not open.  Strain the liquid that remains in the pot (this is the mussel stock) and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the pepperoni until the oil turns bright red, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomato paste, anchovy, and oregano and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the onion and grated garlic and continue to cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Add the rice and mussel stock and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently while cooking over medium-low heat. Once all liquid has evaporated and rice is cooked, remove from heat and cover. Allow to rest for 20 minutes and then stir in salt and lemon juice to taste. Spread on a sheet pan and cool in refrigerator.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400°F. Remove one side of each mussel shell and free the mussel from the remaining shell with a paring knife. Top each mussel with the rice mixture so that it is completely covered.  Arrange stuffed mussels on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Transfer mussels to a serving platter, drizzle with the prepared Lemon Aioli and serve with lemon wedges. 

Angie Rito & Scott Tacinelli are chef/partners at Don Angie, named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America, and featured in The New York Times, Eater, Time Out, Food & Wine, Saveur, and others. While Don Angie may have a 3,000 person wait list, you can visit Angie and Scott’s home kitchen anytime through our Chefs. Home. Cooking. film series.