This recipe for orzo, a rice-shaped pasta, is quick, easy, and goes with almost any entree, especially those with a sauce or gravy to drizzle on top. Toasting the orzo adds a delicious nutty flavor. If there is no sauce, stir in some chopped fresh parsley and/or grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
There was a time when I only used white orzo or other pasta. Now I prefer whole wheat, especially in a dish like this. It is a little difficult to find but, besides the obvious nutritional benefits, it has more flavor, as do all whole wheat products.
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1-1/2 cups orzo
- 2 cups water or low-sodium broth, plus more if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and cook until golden brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 cups of water or broth; bring to a boil over high heat. (If using water rather than broth, add some salt at this point.)
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes, adding a little more liquid if needed for the orzo to become tender. Add the remaining teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper; stir well. Serve immediately, or keep warm off the heat and covered for up to 10 minutes.
Notes: If using whole wheat orzo, check the cooking time on the package as it usually takes a little longer to cook. If broth is preferred, use whatever matches the entree. However, chicken broth works well with any dish and, of course, vegetable broth is appropriate for vegetarians. I sometimes use a combination or broth and water.