Italian Oysters

After Bienville and Rockefeller, this garlic-and-bread-crumby concoction is the most popular in the pantheon of local oyster dishes. The famous dish along these lines is Oysters Mosca, named for the restaurant that made it popular. Every restaurant that’s even slightly Italianate makes a version of it, plus plenty of others. My version is a little spicier than most, inspired by the recipe they use at La Cuisine. The ideal side dish with this is spaghetti Bordelaise.


  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 24 large oysters, partially drained
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning

1. Pour a little of the olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish of almost any size, from a small au gratin dish to a pie plate. Arrange the oysters with about a half-inch between them in the dish.

2. Sprinkle the oysters with the crushed red pepper, garlic, lemon juice and parsley. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Cover the oysters with the blend.

3. Put the dish into a preheated 400-degree oven, uncovered, for ten to fifteen minutes (depending on the size of the dish) until the sauce is bubbling and the bread crumbs on top brown.

Serves six.

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