I have had a box of orzo sitting in my pantry for a couple of months now because I had no idea what to do with it. Every recipe I found was for a pasta salad and since pasta salad is not something I like to eat regularly, I have been putting off using it.
FINALLY I found something to do with this rice-like pasta that is not a cold salad, but a warm, luscious, simple version of Mac and Cheese.
There are few foods that automatically make me feel at home and mac and cheese is definitely one of those, right next to chocolate chip cookies and spaghetti and meatballs. Though Kraft holds a special place in my heart, I am always trying to find a “grown-up” version. This cheesy orzo makes the top of the list, especially since I doubled the cheese from the original recipe.
What can I say? I LOVE CHEESE.
Cheesy Orzo (adapted from Food Network)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth or stock
2 cups orzo pasta
1 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat a 8 inch pot with a tight-fitting cover over moderate heat. Add oil, onion and garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and return broth to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Remove lid and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Finish with your favorite fresh or dried herbs.