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Orzo, like rice, can be a blank canvass for flavors. Start with this simple recipe for Herbed Orzo, then let your imagination take over.
Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Return to the pot and stir in the butter, oil, and herbs along with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in a little pasta water if you want a looser dish.
This recipe for Herbed Orzo is not really a recipe at all.
Well, it is a recipe, but it’s not. Just like orzo looks like rice, but it isn’t. It’s pasta. But it works just like rice. Clear enough?
Orzo, Italian for “barley” due to its resemblance to the grain in its unprocessed form. It is a small rice-shaped pasta made from semolina flour. It’s classified among pasta as “pastina” — a category of tiny shapes commonly used for soups.
It is not gluten-free but it’s shape and simple pasta flavor lends it well for making it the base of many tasty dishes like I used here in my recipe for Tequila Sunrise Pork with Orzo where it is used similar to risotto.
The main purpose of this recipe is to simply show how easy it is to take something very ordinary, plain orzo, and change it into a fresh, tasty side, like Herbed Orzo.
The fresh herbs transform. A little butter and some fruity extra virgin olive oil lend a nice mouthfeel. It’s like making pesto but without the work. The flavors are so easy to work with; add a little parmesan cheese. It’s a new side. Add some pine nuts, different again. How about some fresh peas? or Spinach? Really, this recipe is just a concept. A blank canvass. Ready for your creative touch to your family’s taste.
So create away!
Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the orzo to the pot and stir in the butter, oil, and herbs along with salt and pepper, to taste. Add a little pasta water if you want a looser dish.
Nutritional values may not be 100% accurate
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