Mussel and orzo broth

  • 15 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


Mussel and orzo broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) ouzo or pernod
  • 4 spring onions (100g)
  • 2 small fennel bulbs (400g)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 clove garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 fresh small red thai (serrano) chillies, sliced thinly
  • 400 gram (12½ ounces) canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 litre (6 cups) fish stock or water
  • 1 cup (220g) orzo (pasta)
  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds) mussels, cleaned
  • 400 gram (12½ ounces) firm white fish fillets, chopped coarsely


Mussel and orzo broth
  • 1
    Soak saffron in ouzo in small bowl for 15 minutes.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cut green stems from onions; slice onion stems. Cut onions thinly lengthways. Reserve fennel fronds; slice fennel thinly lengthways. Heat oil in large heavy-based saucepan; cook onion, fennel, garlic and chilli, stirring, about 10 minutes or until onion softens. Add tomato, saffron mixture and stock; bring to the boil.
  • 3
    Add orzo; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until orzo is almost tender. Add mussels and fish, return to the boil; simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until mussels have opened (discard any that do not) and fish is cooked. Season to taste.
  • 4
    Stir in chopped fennel fronds and sliced onion stems.


We used blue-eye in this recipe, but any firm white fish fillet is fine. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta available from Greek delicatessens and specialty food stores; if unavailable, use risoni.

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