Friday, April 22, 2011

Sauteed Orzo

I love risotto.  The creaminess, the flavors from chicken broth (especially homemade) and white wine, the versatility...what's not to love?
The time involved, that's what (especially if you're like me and use brown basmati rice). The stirring. The constant hovering to prevent any burning.  This dish had similar flavors to risotto but swapped out rice for orzo pasta which made for a faster and easier substitute. Altogether, it took about 20 minutes to cook this dish from start to finish and only a couple stirs.  We ended up eating later than planned so the orzo simmered away patiently for an extra half an hour.  This is a big plus for me because I find myself getting a little impatient when the-food-needs-to-be-on-the-table-and-eaten-right-this-second.
You still get the great flavors from using chicken broth and white wine and adding a touch (or more) of parmesan.  You can also add plenty of vegetables -- we added sauteed onions, garlic, mushrooms and asparagus to ours and it was delicious (although pancetta, peas, and even shrimp or chicken would be wonderful, I'm sure!).  Overall, a more weeknight-friendly side dish, reminiscient of risotto.  A winner in my book!

Sauteed Orzo
Taken from: AllRecipes
Serves 6
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/4 yellow onion, minced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley 
  • extra add-ins of your choice such as peas, sauteed asparagus, cooked bacon, pancetta, sauteed mushrooms, etc
  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic, and cook until golden brown. Add in orzo and stir 3 minutes.
  2. Pour water and wine into the skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, until orzo is al dente. Stir in the extra veggies, parmesan cheese, and parsley to serve.

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