2 chorizo sausages (6 ounces), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, bruised with the side of a knife
Two 3-inch strips of orange zest
Two 8-ounce bottles clam juice
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup orzo
2 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Crusty Italian or French bread
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the chorizos, shallot, garlic, fennel seeds and orange zest and stir over moderate heat until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes and 1 1/3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo, cover and cook until barely al dente, about 8 minutes. Add the mussels, cover and cook until they open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels and the orange zest. Serve with bread.
Morgan Malvasia Bianca from California or CUNE Blanco Seco from Rioja, Spain.