I rarely make orzo, and I’m not quite sure why. It really is a perfectly yummy rice-shaped pasta, and around here, you can’t go wrong with pasta. Last week, when I made those scrumptious chicken meatballs from Giada, I couldn’t decide what to serve with it. At first I was thinking just a red sauce and spaghetti, and I’d call it a day. But then … but then I spied a recipe for Orzo with Herbs in the newest issue of Food Network magazine. Oh how I love that magazine!
I had made the meatballs before our day barely even started, so when the orzo was nearly done, I slid the meatballs into the pan to let them warm through a bit. A few minutes later, I took it all off the heat and spooned it into a bowl and called the kids. Nick took one look at dinner and asked what we had in the fridge for leftovers. But Madeline and I? We went to town. And back. And to town again. The meatballs were still as tender and delicious as I remembered them when I had one early in the morning. And in that orzo? Oh man. And the combination? Unbeatable.
Perfect comfort, tummy-warming food, but it’s light enough that it knows no season. Wait, does that make sense? It does in my head. Meaning, that although it seems like a hearty meal, it won’t weigh you down in the dregs of spring and summer weather. Of course, I wouldn’t know anything about that because here in the Northeast we’re all about the 40 days and nights of rain now, but that just makes this kismet-kissed dish all the more perfect.
Now, rest assured, you don’t have to go and make your meatballs at 8 am like I did. Between the meatballs and the orzo, this dish comes together quick enough that it’s perfect for your crazy weeknight dinners … or a lazy way to spend a Sunday. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Orzo with Herbs
Recipe courtesy of Food Network magazine
Cook 2 cups orzo in salted boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain. Chop 6 scallions; cook just the white parts in a skillet with olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the orzo, 2 cups chicken broth, the scallion greens and a handful each of chopped parsley and dill; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan.