Ready in 35 minutes
Orzo is a small Italian pasta that looks very much like rice and is usually prepared similar to a risotto. This pasta dish is both simple and quick, fabulously creamy, and has a wonderful blend of flavors that will delight, not only the adults, but the kids too... This dish very adaptable. It can be eaten as a side dish, or add some cooked chicken, ham or shrimp for a main course. When available, I like to substitute sauteed fresh asparagus for the peas, and I often add 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms to saute along with the shallot and garlic. I love this dish because I can whip it together in about 30-40 minutes, and it's made with things that I usually have readily at hand. It makes a last minute supper feel like something special rather than an afterthought.
In a large heavy saucepan, bring chicken broth or salted water to boil over high heat. Slowly stir in the orzo and cook uncovered, stirring often, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Heat oil in a large heavy saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute about 2 minute. Add the garlic and saute another 1-2 minutes, or until mixture is tender and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas, and cook, stirring often, until cream just begins to bubble. Add the orzo, tossing to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cheese to the pasta mixture. Stir until the sauce coats the pasta thickly. If needed, add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, if desired. Serve immediately in warmed bowls along with additional cheese to pass.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Do not substitute milk for the cream, it's just not the same. Also, the amount of cream may sound like a lot, but this recipe makes a huge amount of pasta--maybe 12 side dish servings or 8+ main dish servings. The recipe can be easily halved, if desired.
Keep all your recipes with free BigOven membership. Clip recipes, make grocery lists, menu plans and more!
What would you serve with this? Link in another recipe
sharong.egan 3m agoThis satisfied my yen for pasta and cheese. Next time I'll add some of the reserved pasta water and maybe more cheese.
weezielrh 6m agoI made this as a side dish to lime grilled chicken breast with avocado salsa. This made a great dinner!
DoubleChin 7m agoYum, didn't follow exactly, used the amounts I had on hand. Like less cream and more cheese. Peas and carrots (only peas I had). Made a ton, only two of us. Packaged up for lunch.
jdriemeyer 7m agoMakes a huge batch. Deliciously creamy with tangy tomatoey bites and a hint of spiciness.
strawberryblunt 10m agoI love this stuff as a side dish I cut it in half there just 2 of us. if I use it as a main dish with shrimp or grilled chicken I make the hole thing. This really makes a lot
asohail 1y agoThis one's a keeper!! I paired this dish with grilled chicken and green beans. This was my first time cooking with orzo, but everything came out wonderful. My boyfriend loved it and is excited for the leftovers. I may add shrimp next time. Delicious indeed!! leftleftovers! I used regular tomatoes instead of canned.
Mitreehouse 1y agoAdded Shrimp. Very good.
gregspotato79 1y agoyummy! yummy! yummy!
dohmama 1y agoTake your time cooking tomatoes in with cream... Short cutting this step causes the flavors not to completely meld
tcats6 2y agoI wasn't to big a fan of this. I will try making again to see if maybe it was just a bad batch.