Fideos in saffron-pimentón broth with mussels and linguiça

This is a variation on a dish I made awhile back, and though breaking up capellini to make a version of fideos seems more legit, I think the clams were a better addition than mussels. The problem with mussels (always) is that their thin shells buckle under the weight of their neighbors, and a good handful seem to be broken right out of the bag (this time, the nice fella at New Seasons even inspected each handful, but missed 6 or 7 that had little hairline cracks). Buttery littlenecks are just tougher. Oh well.

I sliced up the linguiça and some onions and browned them up in a little olive oil with some minced garlic. I threw in the broken capellini-as-fideos and stirred them around the savory, orange oil as one would for a risotto, then added about a cup of white wine, a crumbly pinch of saffron threads and a fingertip-sized bump of pimentón, a few pinches of kosher salt and some cracks of pepper. Dumped in the last jar of my home-canned Dr. Wyches Yellow orange heirloom toms and a rinse-out jarful of water, then covered and simmered for about 15 minutes. When the fideos were al dente, I tossed in the scrubbed and de-bearded mussels and reapplied the lid. Sprinkle copious chopped parsley and break open some baguette for soppage.

Serve with tiny tumblersful of cheap Tempranillo and the old tango records that you got for fifty cents at a yard sale years ago, yet are just now listening to for the first time.