When the latest recipe from Kym Grimshaw of Bristol-based food blog On the Plate popped into my inbox, I was instantly intrigued. I’d never heard of orzotto before, but I’m a big fan of both risotto and orzo pasta, so this fusion of the two is right up my street.
After a little research, I discovered that Italian orzotto is traditionally made from pearl barley, but orzo – small pasta shaped like grains of rice – makes a wonderful substitute. The result is a dish that’s as creamy and satisfying as normal risotto, but much quicker and easier to cook. Here, Kym has paired it with zingy seasonal vegetables and a dash of lemon, creating the perfect supper for the balmy Bank Holiday weekend ahead…
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 250g orzo pasta
- 600ml chicken stock
- 5 shallots, finely chopped
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
- 1 bunch asparagus
- handful fresh podded peas
- handful fresh podded broad beans
- 80-100g parmesan cheese
- Get all of the ingredients ready. Pod the peas and broad beans, and prepare the asparagus by discarding the woody ends and slicing into smaller pieces.
- Heat the oil over a low to medium heat, and cook the shallots gently until soft and slightly golden. Add the garlic and continue to fry gently for another minute or so.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the orzo and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Stir the vegetables into the orzo, and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes (or longer if necessary), until the vegetables are blanched and the orzo is soft. Be careful not to evaporate the stock before the vegetables and orzo are cooked to your liking. Add a little more stock if needed to stop the orzo from becoming too sticky.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat, and stir in the parmesan and lemon zest. Give it a little taste and season to your liking.
Kym will be back with another seasonal recipe next month. And as always, there’s plenty more food inspiration over at On the Plate to keep you occupied in the meantime!
All photography by Kym Grimshaw