Friday, December 29, 2006

Orzo with fennel and mussels

I had another try at making the moules marinières I was denied a few weeks ago and this time, there were mussels aplenty at the fishmonger's. The lovely lady was very generous, too, adding a large handfull to my stash after she had weighed them. I'm not sure why she does it, maybe because some of them always remain closed and cannot be eaten - at any rate, it's very kind. I suppose this time the stay-closed percentage was very low seeing there were leftovers despite all of us having eaten hearty portions. I removed the remaining mussels from their shells and set them aside with some of the cooking juices. The next day, I improvised with what was at hand to make

Orzo with fennel and mussels (serves 2)

  • a couple of cooked mussels in the cooking juices
  • 80g orzo or risoni (a rice-shaped kind of pasta)
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into thin slices
  • a small glass of dry vermouth
  • half a vegetable stock cube
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the fennel and fry gently for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. Up the heat, then add the vermouth and let it evaporate. Add the orzo and the stock cube to the fennel and add enough water to cover everything. Simmer gently, half covered, until the fennel and the pasta are soft. There should still be quite a lot of broth. Add the mussels and cooking jucies and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

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