Orzo! What the hell is that?! It’s a short cut pasta that looks like rice. Did someone say identity crisis. Ha! Not anything to blow your mind away, however the orzo pasta definitely intrigues me. Even though its just pasta. When we hear pasta we think of all sorts of shapes and sizes but the one that is showcased as “orzo” is different. Or…, it could just be my affection for rice. Whatever may be the case it was my dinner today, all due to the inspiration of Chef John from Food Wishes.
The recipe is a great recipe as the focus is cooking it all in one pot. Who doesn’t love that. One pot and one plate to wash = more time to crash on the couch from over eating. BOOYA! Nothing worse then making dinner and the mess left in the kitchen, resembles the dish pit in a busy restaurant on a Saturday night. Ask my wife.
The recipe is basically all ingredients in one pot and cook until liquid is absorbed by orzo pasta. Pretty easy, and you can stop there. But, if anyone knows me, they know that I am a texture guy. I prefer crispy over soft, seared over just cooked and sometimes charred/burnt for no really good reason. With that being said my orzo was done and delicious but needed some texture. Croutons maybe, or even some kind of nut if I had. I decided to give the orzo a nice sear in a All-Clad non-stick pan
Didn’t know how it would turn out as searing pasta is not a technique used that often but in my kitchen, today it was. As you can see below it turned out nice and gave the orzo pasta good color.
The orzo pasta recipe that inspired me, suggested this be served with ricotta cheese. I didn’t have anything close to that except for 3 bags of milk that usually go bad and a handful of lemons. Yes I made fresh ricotta.
Really easy to make and if you stick to just the base recipe it will only dirty one pot.
3 Cups uncooked orzo pasta
4 Boneless and skinless chicken thigh cut into small chunks
1½ Cup tomato purée
1½ - 2 Cup water or stock
1 Banana pepper sliced up
4 Italian sausages (casings removed)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Cup arugula
½ Lemon juice
½ Cup ricotta
Remove casings from italian sausages and sauté on medium heat in a deep pot while breaking meat up with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Once the sausage is cooked, season your cubed chicken and add to pot along with the banana peppers. Once chicken is almost cooked, add tomato purée and stock/water.
Bring to a boil and add orzo pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes, till liquid has been absorbed. Dish is ready to be eaten at this point.
Heat a non stick pan on high heat. Spray liberally with pam, once pan is hot. Add your desired amount of orzo. Sear on high heat for a couple of minutes and then toss orzo so it sears evenly on all sides.
Once seared to your liking plate orzo with arugula and lemon juice. Finish dish with ½ Cup ricotta on top. Enjoy!