Pork Vegetable Orzo

Oblong and common in Mediterranean cooking, orzo has a look of rice and the texture of pasta. Orzo, also named risoni, is an extremely versatile pasta shape used in a multitude of recipes and cuisines. Translating to mean ‘barley’ in Italian due to its resemblance to the grains of unprocessed barely, it is categorized as a ‘pastina’ meaning ‘little pasta’.

The most common variety of orzo is made from semolina flour, which in turn is made from durum wheat. Because the wheat base gives it a heartier texture, it is better able to absorb the flavors of the ingredients around it as well as providing the pasta with a firmness needed to ensure it maintains its shape while remaining soft and light in texture.

Like most pasta, orzo is boiled in a pot of water to prepare. From there, it can be used in multiple applications. Traditionally it is used in soups and sometimes as a side dish, both hot and chilled, with herbs, olive oil or butter, and parmesan cheese.

Today, I’m incorporating orzo in a ground pork & vegetable, one-pot meal …. pasta, meat & veggies, what more is needed!

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Pork Vegetable Orzo
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Rating: 5
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, crumble fry ground pork until cooked. Steam chard stalks in a microwave dish until almost tender-crisp. Add onions, zucchini & chard to saucepan with pork. Sauté until onion has softened & veggies are tender-crisp.
  2. Stir in garlic, Montreal steak spice & orzo, cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth & milk. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Turn heat to a medium low temperature. It should gently bubble vs. boil as you don't want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in parmesan. Cover & gently cook 3-5 minutes until the mixture has slightly thickened. Remove from heat & serve.

Garlic Orzo Tuscan Shrimp

Quite often confused with rice, orzo is a short-cut and petite pasta that is often used in place of other grains. Also known as risoni, this little pasta, or pastina, is a wonderful base for many meals.

Orzo offers enormous culinary potential made with 100% enriched durum semolina wheat. However, there are other varieties, including whole wheat orzo made with whole wheat flour and tri-color orzo which is enriched with red tomato and vibrant green spinach.

Orzo can be used in a wide variety of recipes such as mixed bowls, soups, salads, casseroles, and side dishes. Another way to take advantage of orzo pasta is by using it as a filling or stuffing. It makes a hearty option for anything from stuffed peppers and tomatoes to orzo stuffed zucchini boats.

The shape of orzo may resemble a large grain of rice; however, while both are rich in carbohydrates, these two plant-based ingredients are quite different. Apart from their composition, rice does not contain gluten, whereas pasta, made from wheat, does.

With its origins in the Mediterranean, it’s no wonder that orzo wonderfully complements the tastes and vibrant colors of a variety of coastal cuisines. I think it compliments this Tuscan shrimp dish very well.

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Garlic Orzo Tuscan Shrimp
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil & cook orzo pasta about 8-9 minutes. Drain the orzo using a colander & set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter & add minced garlic & shrimp; fry for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked & pink. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl & set aside.
  3. Add the onions & mushrooms to the butter remaining in the skillet. Stir in sun dried tomatoes & Swiss chard leaves; fry for 1-2 minutes or until leaves are wilted.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low & add the cream; bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in parmesan cheese; allow the sauce to simmer for about a minute until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the herbs & parsley over the mix & toss to combine.
  6. Add shrimp & cooked orzo pasta; toss to combine. Serve.