Orzo is an Italian dried pasta and each piece is the size and shape of an unprocessed grain of barley, which is what “orzo” means in Italian.It has a lovely texture.
It can be boiled like other pastas, or cooked like a risotto. You cook orzo exactly the same as you would cook any pasta. A pot of boiling water, with a splash of oil and a little salt, then boil/simmer until it’s al-dente. Then serve. You can serve it hot or cold – use it where you’d use rice.
Cooking ideas for orzo range from baking it with meat and sauces in the oven to making salads using cold orzo and adding a variety of flavours and ingredients.
Allow approximately 75g of orzo per person.
Spicy orzo with crispy chorizo
- 150 g orzo
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 red pepper seeded and medium dice
- 1 small onion peeled and finely diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 120 g diced chorizo
- 1 tsp chilli paste or 1/2 small chilli finally chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp defrosted peas
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 100 g mozzarella shredded
- Heat the oil in a deep frying or sauté pan and add the chorizo, onion and pepper. Sauté over a medium heat until lightly browned and add the garlic and cherry tomatoes.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the peas, ground cumin and chilli.
- Add the orzo to a large pan of boiling water, stir and return to the boil.
- Cook for 8 minutes, drain and rinse well.
- Add the orzo to the pan and stir gently over a low heat until heated through.
- Serve and top with parsley and the shredded mozzarella
For a vegetarian option replace the chorizo with chopped babycorn or sautéed sliced mushrooms.