Pasta Paella with Orzo

4 to 6 servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds small clams
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds orzo
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 to 2 Serrano chiles, seeded and minced
  • 3 large tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 to 2 cups clam juice or fish stock, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • In a covered pot, steam clams and mussels with white wine until shells open, about 5 minutes. Strain and reserve broth.

  • Meanwhile, fill a stockpot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add salt and orzo and boil for about 8 minutes. Carefully drain in a colander (the orzo can slip through colander holes if they are too big).

  • Heat oil in a large skillet or paella pan over moderate heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes to release aromas. Stir in bell peppers, chiles and tomatoes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pinkorange, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add peas, saffron, oregano, coriander and reserved broth from mussels and clams. Simmer for a few minutes.

  • Stir in orzo and heat through, adding clam juice or fish stock as needed to make a soupy texture. Stir in clams and mussels. Adjust seasoning.

  • To serve, spoon hot paella into serving bowls and serve immediately.

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