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Heat the achiote oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, stirring to prevent sticking, and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ham and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the orzo and stir until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
Pour enough hot clam juice into the skillet to cover the orzo by about 1/2-inch. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking, adding small amounts of the hot clam juice to keep the orzo covered as necessary, until the pasta is tender but still firm, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. The pasta should have a creamy consistency, but there should be little, if any, liquid left by the end of cooking. If a bit soupy, let stand for a minute or so. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped parsley.
*Cook's Note: Achiote seeds are a deep orange seed with a nutty flavor. They are available in many supermarkets and almost all Latin markets.
Yield: about 1 cup