Orzo, also known as risoni, looks just like little grains of rice although it’s actually a type of short cut pasta. You can use it in lots of dishes as an alternative to rice like risotto (orzotto)and pilafs or add a handful or two to soup. I’ve used it here cooked in mushroom stock and then mixed with browned onions and mushrooms with fresh parsley to add colour and contrast. It would be perfect as a vegan or vegetarian main course although I served it as side dish with pan-fried slices of lamb marinaded with garlic paste and ground cumin salt. Best served at room temperature, this will serve four people as a side dish. Leftovers are great in your lunch box the following day.
- 300g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
- Orzo – 4 handfuls
- 2 tbsps light olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- Knorr mushroom stock pot with 300ml boiling water (you could also use stock made with dried mushrooms and then add those to the fresh mushrooms)
- Salt and black pepper
- A splash of white wine
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- Generous handful of coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
- Dissolve the mushroom stock pot in the boiling water in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook for 10 minutes. Stir after a minute or so to prevent it sticking. The orzo will absorb a lot of the stock. Set aside once cooked. Don’t drain it as you’re going to use the cooking stock later.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion slices with a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until brown and caramelised. Stir in the garlic paste and the mushrooms and cook through for another couple of minutes so that all the oil is absorbed and the mushrooms have softened slightly.
- Next, pour in the cooked orzo, the cooking stock and the white wine. Stir through for another few minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Take it off the heat, season with black pepper and stir in the flat leaf parsley. Serve at room temperature.
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