I’m a little behind on the posting schedule, and since no one seems to mind with Grumpy Cat posts are a day late, I’ll blissfully assume the same about these here blog. Granted, we’re not quite cute as Grumpy Cat. Not only am I late posting, but I’m sharing with a recipe I’ve deemed as average, because I don’t always cook just down right delicious pasta nor do I always take the best pictures. I do, however, enjoy a good risotto: this version from cooking light using orzo was worth the shot, though I’ll be deviating from recipe the next time I make it.

And I’m okay with that. Because I want you to try this recipe and put your mark on it. If you try it verbatim and enjoy it, that’s fine too. But this recipe confirmed one thing (as if my weekend finds post didn’t): I like salt. This recipe’s first failing is it that it needs some salt and spice.

Orzotto, from Cooking Light March 2013

  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onions
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 pound of asparagus, roasted and cut into 1-inch peices
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley

Bring the stock to a simmer on the stove and keep warm. In a large saute or sauce pan, add the butter and oil and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the onions and cook for 7-10 minutes until translucent. Add the pasta and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly as to not burn the pasta. Add rind, juice, salt, and pepper.

Add 1/2 cup of stock to the pasta mixture. Cook on medium low for about 2-3 minutes until the liquid is nearly absorbed. Stir frequently (just as you would with risotto). Continue to add the stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring frequently. Once the pasta is cooked and creamy, add the spinach and stir until the spinach starts to wilt. Add the roasted asparagus.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley and cheese. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

Some additions

  • Include crushed red pepper flakes to add a bit of kick
  • Shallot pepper or even lemon pepper will accent the base flavors
  • Swap low sodium broth for the unsalted broth

Orzotto 2.0

    • Katie said:

      Athena, it’s a spice mix I purchase from Penzey’s Spice with dried shallots and pepper. Delicious on pasta, chicken, in soups, etc!


  1. the orzotto looks so stunning and delicious, I love the way you keep every ingredient basic and simple but they really helps the dish shine out naturally ^^


    • Katie said:

      Thank you! I’ve never been one for “fussy” ingredients. If you try it, let me know what you think.


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