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Orzo, the type of wheat semolina pasta, is ideal to prepare very appetizing recipes. Its shape is similar to a grain of rice, which means it is often confused with rice, but its flavor is quite different.
We are seeing it more and more in a multitude of dishes. In this post we present to you two delicious orzo recipes prepared with it as an example for you to know how to cook orzo. Also, you will find some information about some peculiarities of this awesome food.
Recipe 1 – Creamy orzo with garlic and Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of raw orzo pasta.
- 1/3 cup of butter.
- 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese.
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic.
- 1 small onion, chopped.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley.
- 1/4 tablespoon of crushed red bell pepper flakes.
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup of media crema.
- Black pepper to taste.
Below the directions to prepare this exquisite recipe.
- Boil water in a pot.
- Add two cups of orzo to the water.
- Cook the orzo over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Read the instructions on the package to see how long to cook the orzo. When the pasta has slightly increased in size and is ready to eat, drain well.
- Thaw 1/3 cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add 1 small chopped onion to the skillet. Sauté the onion until just soft, which will take 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red bell pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook ingredients for 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Add remaining ingredients to the skillet. Add orzo, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 to 1/3 cup media crema, 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Stir the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through with the orzo.
- Serve. Season this creamy orzo with black pepper to taste and serve immediately.
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Recipe 2 – Orzo made simple
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 226 grams (1/2 pound) of orzo.
- 2 cups of chicken broth.
Follow these simple directions:
- Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. It is advisable to use a medium skillet.
- Heat the pan over medium heat until the oil gets a little hot, about 2 minutes. You can substitute the olive oil with butter, if you prefer.
- Add 1/2 pound (226 grams) of orzo to the pan. Most orzo comes in 1 pound (450 gram) boxes, so use half a box.
- Stir the orzo into the oil with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Let the paste brown slightly so that it acquires a slight nutty flavor. This will take 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the temperature of the fire. If it starts to get too dark too quickly, remove the pan from the heat, you want it to brown, not burn.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Pour 1 cup first and then add the rest as time passes, so the pasta will absorb it. You can stop adding broth after 1 1/2 cups if you prefer the orzo to be less creamy. The pasta will absorb the chicken stock much like rice.
- Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let the orzo and consommé mixture boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the orzo is tender and has absorbed all the consommé.
- Occasionally, the orzo will absorb all the consommé but will still be somewhat tough. In that case, just add a little more broth or water to the pan and let it cook a little longer.
- Serve this delicious orzo alone or eat it as a side dish with a main dish, such as chicken or beef.
Some characteristics of orzo
Among the many particularities concerning its consumption, it should be mentioned that:
- It is a dry pasta frequently used in the typical cuisine of several Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Greece, Turkey and others.
- Its name comes from Latin and its translation corresponds to barley.
- Its manufacture based on durum wheat semolina provides a number of benefits to our health, such as:
- Ideal for intestinal cleansing, since the fiber that composes it is of an excellent value that helps to maintain clean and healthy intestines, facilitating fluid transit and preventing constipation.
- Orzo fiber has a satiating effect which is ideal for people who are under a strict diet regimen to lose weight.
- It promotes heart health because it is composed of a set of vitamins, mainly of the B complex. It stands out the presence of vitamin B1 and niacin, which are responsible for reducing cholesterol levels.
- Also, consuming orzo helps control LDL in the blood, as it prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and reduces the risk of heart attacks.