Monday, May 23, 2011

Parmesan Basil Orzo - Lazy Risotto

Parmesan Basil Orzo... 

...the lazy lady's risotto
I love the bulk food section of Winco. It's one of my happy places. After I gather my necessities I love to wander among the rows of bins and look for something unique to take home and add to my repertoire. It's all so cheap there that I can afford to have fun and try something new. This last trip I spotted the orzo. I've never bought it because I joke that its just fancy rice. But this time, with some room in my budget, and at like 30 cents a pound, I convinced myself I needed it...for the blog. After all, all good bloggers need to branch out and try new ingredients in order to expand the skills and recipe boxes of their readers.

So I bought a GIANT bag of it and headed home. Super smug.

Shawn was surprised, "You don't eat pasta. Orzo is pasta. You bought a giant bag of it. This seems weird."


I don't know why I like it. I just do. My dislike of pasta is kind of a texture thing for me. Lasagna noodles are the worst with angel hair pasta on the edible side of my pasta spectrum. Orzo must just be so small and rice-like that it doesn't bug me. When cooked in broth and mixed with Parmesan its practically risotto.

I guess that's why I love this recipe so much. In 20 minutes you have a delicious side dish that could pass for risotto. No stirring and heaps of butter. Just canola, broth, parmesan cheese and basil. Yum.

I recommend making it exactly as stated and then trying it and branching out with more ingredients. Next time I'll be adding fresh diced tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms. It makes a perfect side dish or light meal for one to two. I also recommend doubling the recipe if you are cooking for more than two - its that good!

Parmesan Basil Orzo - Lazy Risotto
inspired by Allrecipes

  • 1 tbsp of canola oil
  • 1 cup of uncooked orzo pasta
  • 15 oz of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp of dried basil
  • salt and pepper to season
  1. In a medium sized deep skillet heat the canola oil and add the orzo. Stir until the orzo begins to brown.
  2. Add the chicken broth to the orzo and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover with a pot lid, and let the orzo cook until the liquid is absorbed. Approx 20 mins.
  3. Watch carefully during the last 5 minutes of cooking time as the orzo can begin to stick.
  4. Once the broth is absorbed and the orzo cooked. Remove from heat and add the parmesan and basil. Stir until the parmesan is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.