80 g of green-pitted olives

1 kg of mussels

100 ml olive oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 shallot or ½ onion, finely chopped

6 slices jamón serrano (cured ham), roughly chopped

1 teaspoon plain flour

1 teaspoon hot pimenton, although the sweet variety will do as well

200 ml of dry white wine

2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start by soaking the mussels in cold water for about 20 minutes to allow them to release any sand trapped in their shells. Pull off their beards with the help of a paring knife, scrub the shells to remove any dirt, rinse thoroughly under cold water and discard any that are open or broken
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (wide enough to hold all the mussels) over a medium heat and add the garlic, onion and jamón. Cook until the onion is translucent, but not coloured
  3. Add the flour and paprika and stir-fry for 20 seconds to cook the flour (you don’t want the sauce to have a floury taste). Add the chopped olives and white wine, stirring all the time and then quickly flambé by setting light to the pan using a lighter or long matches. If you don’t want to flambé the wine don’t worry, just cook for a couple of minutes so that the alcohol evaporates
  4. Add the cleaned mussels to the pan, turn up the heat and shake the pan vigorously, tossing the mussels a couple of times.
  5. Season to taste and stir in the parsley, cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mussels are fully opened (throw away any that remain closed). Stir again before serving with lots of fresh bread to soak up the sauce