Orzo should be cooked until al dente—tender, but still firm to the bite.
Italian for "barley," orzo is tiny, rice-shaped pasta that actually
resembles pearls of barley. Traditionally used in zuppa (soup), modern
chefs have taken to using it for side and main dishes as well.
Look for dried orzo made with semolina (durum wheat). With a mellow
taste, this type of pasta absorbs less water and retains a nice "bite"
when cooked to al dente
Always check the package when buying any dried pasta. If it's dusty, or the pasta looks crumbly or broken, choose another box.
Generally speaking, imported Italian pastas are of
better quality than American-factory made products.
Dried pasta can be stored almost indefinitely in an airtight container. Keep it in a cool, dry place.
• Make sure your water is boiling rapidly before adding the pasta.
• Rub vegetable oil
around the top of your pot to prevent boil-overs.
• Cook orzo till al dente—tender, but still firm to the bite.
• Add orzo to vegetable, meat or fish-based broths
for a quick and easy lunchtime soup that kids will love.
• Stir orzo into heartier soups like minestrone
• Combine orzo with peas and top with fresh mint and Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Use orzo as an alternative to Arborio rice in risotto
Try another "soup" pasta such as ditalini or pastina.
Try one of our favorite orzo recipes:
Mediterranean Chops with Parmesan Orzo
Pasta Meatball Soup (Albondigas Soup)
Orzo with Broccoli, Feta and Olives