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Orzo with Brown Butter and Parmigiano Reggiano

I know. I know. It’s the evil ORZO. Those that know me know this is the ingredient that strikes fear in my heart and soul.

As soon as it gets a slight bit colder, I’ll make the lamb and orzo dish that has me shaking in fear of ORZO. But for now, let’s just say, when I was a far less confident cook, I followed a recipe my Uncle gave which he mistakenly told me FOUR boxes of orzo. Yes, 4. In a single pot. Naturally, it boiled over … all over everything. Can you say Strega Nona?

But the good folks at Fine Cooking Magazine used two words far too enticing for me to pass up … BROWN BUTTER.

How could I possibly pass up a recipe with BROWN BUTTER, even if it means confronting my demons.

And this was well worth the cold sweats and shaking that went on while measuring the orzo. Nutty, with almost the consistency of risotto but without all the stirring. Great side dish for chicken or fish. Personally, because this is on the heavy and substantial side, the main should be something on the lighter side … but that’s just me!

Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 C lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 C orzo
  • 1/3 C dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Thinly sliced fresh chives (optional)

In a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes.

Add the orzo and stir with a wooden spoon to coat well. Cook until the orzo just begins to turn a light golden color, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the simmering broth mixture, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the orzo is just tender, about 12 minutes; the mixture may still be wet but will set up.

Stir the orzo, season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper, and mix in the Parmigiano. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Add the chives (if using) and serve.

NOTE: Okay, so easy was that!? Nothing to be afraid of … they’re just little pellets of pasta …

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5 Responses

  1. Great post love it!

  2. Looks delicious!

  3. oh yum! orzo is my fave pasta!

  4. I was so confused when I started reading this post, as orzo is barley in Italian. I kept looking at the picture and thinking “that can’t be orzo”. Perhaps it was farro? But it looked so much like pasta… and then I found out that ORZO is actually a small pasta called “risoni” over here. Such a simple dish yet so full of flavor: I must try. My kids love past with butter and grated Parmesan.

  5. I love rice of all kinds and your rice recipe looks delicious.

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