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Creamy Orzo and Rice

Serves 6

When I first decided to make this recipe, I planned to use just the orzo, which is a rice-shaped pasta. When I got started, I discovered I did not have enough orzo, so I decided to add some rice, which I have done in a few of my other recipes. In doing so, the texture became even creamier, almost like a risotto. And the process is very easy since all of the water is absorbed and there is no pasta to drain. This is a quick, easy and delicious side dish to serve for a family dinner or as part of an elegant dinner party.

Ingredients

Place the orzo, rice, water, garlic, olive oil and salt to taste in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, checking often and adding a little more water if it dries out. (Avoid stirring when checking for water.) After the 20 minutes, add the cream and stir to heat. Then add the Parmesan and heat again. Finally, add the herbs and pepper, and taste for seasoning. Stir well to combine. This is best if served immediately. However, leftovers reheat well in the microwave.

Notes: Depending on the age of the rice or pasta and how dry it is, a little more cream might need to be added. You can add any herbs desired, especially those to match the entree. If necessary, dried herbs can be substituted for fresh.