“Orzotto” con Funghi e Spinaci

Mommy has a new addiction: Pinterest. I’ve even added a button at the bottom of each post so you can “Pin” these recipes. As you might imagine, Mommy likes looking at pictures of food and stumbling upon new recipes. A friend of ours recently pinned a picture of orzo with basil and cheese. Mommy thought she’d give it a try, but, as usual, put her own spin on it.

Orzo is pasta that is shaped to look like grains of rice. It cooks quickly because it’s small. Mommy likes to make risotto and decided to do a little take on risotto. The great thing about using orzo instead of short-grained rice (like arborio) for this dish is that Mommy didn’t have to stand over the stove stirring and adding liquid to the pot – she had time to chase after me!

Mommy’s favorite risotto is probably a tie between seafood and mushroom. We added some mushrooms to this orzo dish. Mommy usually adds peas to her risotto but she’s on a bit of a spinach kick these days, so we added spinach too. We didn’t even cook the spinach – just put it into the bottom of the serving bowl and poured the cooked orzo on top. The heat of the orzo was enough to wilt the spinach.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Onion, thinly sliced

1 Pint Mushrooms (your choice, we used Cremini/Baby Portabellos,) sliced

1 box Orzo (this will be about 2 1/4 cups)

5 cups chicken stock (you could also use vegetable stock)

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

2 handfuls (or cups) Fresh Spinach

2 Tablespoons Basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. When hot, add the onions and saute.

While the onions are sauteing, heat a skillet over high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms in a dry pan – do not add oil. As they begin to cook they will squeak as you move them around the pan. That’s what is supposed to happen. They will brown nicely without anything else in the pan.

Add the orzo to the onions and cook/toast until it begins to turn golden brown.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir to keep orzo from sticking to the bottom of your pot. Add mushrooms, turn down to a simmer,cover and cook about 15 minutes.

After about 15 minutes of simmering the liquid should be absorbed. If there’s still some liquid left, remove the lid and let it simmer another minute or two.

Place the spinach into a serving bowl and pout the cooked orzo over it. Add the cheese and half the basil and stir to combine. Garnish with the remaining basil.

It was hot, so it took me a few minutes to try it, but it was tasty.

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