Orzo is one of those pasta that much resembles rice. It’s very easy to cook and can be used for many dishes such as salad, or in soups. This is one of our favourite simple, yet delicious recipes. The sweet freshness of the cherry tomatoes along with the fresh herbs and the salty cheese make this a perfect dish. It’s a great kid friendly recipe.
The ingredients for Orzo
Fresh ingredients will make your pasta absolutely delicious.
This is what you will need for this finger licking dish:
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large crimini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup sliced)
- 1/4 cup coriander (or parsley)
- 4 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
- fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Let’s start with boiling the pasta. Liberally salt the water in which you boil it. This usually takes about 8 or so minutes to cook it al-dente. I generally cook it for 1 less minute than package instructions, because it will be cooking again when we add it to the tomatoes.
While the pasta is boiling, we can start cooking the vegetables. Let’s start by finely chopping the onions and slicing the garlic. Heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook them for about 4 or so minutes – just till they start softening. We don’t want to cook them till they brown. That changes the flavour of this fresh dish.
While the onions are cooking, we can wash and finely chop the mushrooms. I like to chop them to about the same size as the onions, but you can slice them if you prefer. Some people don’t like mushrooms, so you can totally omit them from the recipe without taking much away. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for just 1-2 minutes. Again, just to allow them to soften a little. We don’t want to over cook the mushrooms, or else they start to get watery and will ruin the dish.
Now we are ready to add the delicious fresh cherry tomatoes. Wash and chop them. I tend to quarter them cause that helps in evenly distributing them into the pasta, but you can chop them as you like. We can wash and chop the coriander (or parsley and basil if using) at this point. We have some non-parsley lovers in the family, so I use fresh coriander and basil, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.
Once the mushrooms have cooked, we can add the tomatoes and the herbs to the pan. At the same time, we can add the pasta to the pan as well. At this point, the idea is just to ensure the pasta and tomatoes get tossed together and get evenly distributed. We do not want to cook the tomatoes. Once tomatoes cook, they get juicy and we do not want that. We just cook the pasta with the tomatoes for about 1-2 minutes.
Now we can add the salt to the pan and sprinkle the parmesan onto the pan and toss to coat the pasta with it. I use a liberal amount of salt when I boil the orzo so that it is well salted. We add the salt to the cooked and ready to serve pasta in order to avoid the vegetables from getting watery. As soon as you add the salt, the vegetables will start to loose their water, so best to wait to do this just when you are ready to serve.
Great some more fresh parmesan onto the pasta and grind some fresh black pepper onto each plate before you serve. Enjoy hot with a side of protein. Try it with my oven roasted chicken thighs or my honey mustard chicken.
Simple Orzo with Cherry TomatoesCourse: EntreeCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
This delicious yet simple orzo with cherry tomato and fresh herbs is a perfect summer recipe. It pairs well with all kinds of protein of choice.
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large crimini mushrooms (about 1/2 cup sliced)
1/4 cup coriander (or parsley)
4 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta as per the package directions (al-dente preferably).
- While the psata is cooking, finely chop the onion and slice the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 5 mins or until just starting to soften.
- Wash, chop, and add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook for another 1-2 minutes only – just to soften the mushrooms.
- Wash and quarter the cherry tomatoes and finely chop the coriander (or parsley).
- Add the cherry tomatoes, coriander, and orzo to the pan at the same time. Toss and cook for about 1-2 minutes – just to allow the two to get mixed well.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the parmesan (and basil if using) and take off the heat.
- Serve hot with a side of protein. Try it with my oven roasted chicken thighs or my honey mustard chicken.
– Check out other Entree recipes here.