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Christine Cushing's one-pot wonder orzo

Christine Cushing's Orzo Rapini and Feta

Try my unorthodox and irresistible recipe for orzo pasta and see why it’s one of my signature dishes.  It blurs the lines between pasta and risotto.  Did I mention it’s very easy to make? 

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (25 ml)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried Greek oregano (5 ml)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (1000 ml)
  • 2 cups orzo pasta (500 ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch rapini, trimmed of tough bottom stems
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (50 ml) , or to taste
  • freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (25ml)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon 
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil with shallots and garlic and saute on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until onion is soft.  Add tomatoes, thyme, oregano and  chicken stock and stir. Simmer on medium heat for about 6 minutes or until stock is reduced by a third. 
  2. Add orzo, stir and reduce to simmer, covered. Cook for a further 12 minutes stirring occasionally.  If after 8 minutes of cooking the liquid has been absorbed but orzo is not yet cooked, simply add 1/2 cup water, stir and continue to cook, uncovered.  Remove from heat and check seasoning.
  3. In a small food chopper, combine the parsley, olive oil and pulse until smooth.  Add the lemon zest and pulse to blend. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, cook rapini in plenty of salted boiling water for about 4 minutes and cut in half to make more manageable to eat. Reserve for topping orzo . 
  5. Note.  Serve this dish as soon as orzo is cooked or it will continue to absorb liquid and become too sticky.  Place a little bunch of rapini on top of each plate of orzo and sprinkle with feta cheese  and parsley mixture. (Parmesan can be substituted)

 

 

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