Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

We have always been a pretty traditional family. We were basically a meat and potatoes family. In fact, I might go so far as to say I didn’t eat much rice until I got to college. And then I eased into it. We would eat pasta on occasion growing up, but even that wasn’t a huge menu item. Last week when I was home, my mom decided to make some orzo. I’ve cooked with orzo on occasion, but I don’t think my dad had ever eaten orzo before. This item quickly became a favorite. It’s on our list to make again anytime we can. I am even surprised we didn’t make it twice while I was home… but who knows, maybe my mom and dad have made it again this week!

As I was discussing (analyzing) it with my sister Brenda, I described it as grown up mac and cheese. It’s not macaroni like, but the parmesan cooks in nicely, so it is reminiscent of past with cheese like mac and cheese. It’s not the same cheese flavor as regular mac and cheese, but a more adult-friendly pasta and cheese. It also reminded me somewhat of a risotto, without all the ongoing work risotto requires!

Overall, I don’t have any “must change” items on it. We did eat it fast, though. So fast I didn’t get a picture! Sorry! Instead, make it, eat it, enjoy it!

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter

1 c uncooked orzo

1 can chicken broth

½ c grated Parmesan cheese

¼ c chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions

Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and sauté until lightly browned.

Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.

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