Orzo is an oval shaped pasta that resembles rice, but is actually pasta. It cooks up quickly and has a similar texture to pasta, but because of it’s small size, quickly absorbs flavors from the sauce and other ingredients. Spring vegetables like asparagus and zucchini can brighten the pasta grains, and make a most spectacular vegetarian meal.
A traditional pasta dinner can sometimes be a little heavy, but orzo is light and airy, different than other pastas. What makes orzo so special is that it can be cooked with other ingredients directly in the pan, there’s no need to boil it ahead of time, making it a simple one-pan meal. To prepare this recipe, I added a little broth and butter to make a fragrant pan sauce in minutes, not much fuss, but definitely tons of flavor. I find the orzo to be a satisfying all on its own, but you can serve it as a side dish, along with some grilled chicken or fish, or at room temperature as a salad for any meal.
1 shallot, minced
1 cup orzo pasta
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut into thirds
2/3 cup broth, chicken or vegetable
1/2 cup white wine or water
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
oil for cooking
- In a large skillet, add 2 teaspoons oil and place over medium heat. Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add orzo and stir. Cook for 3 minutes or toast gently.
- Add broth, wine, 1/1 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stir. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until orzo is almost al dente.
- Add zucchini and asparagus, stir to combine. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.
- Add butter and stir into sauce. Sprinkle top of skillet with Parmesan and serve immediately. Enjoy!