Risotto is one of those dishes on my "too much work, probably won't make it anytime soon" list so I usually bypass recipes that are versions of it. But I've been having cravings for orzo pasta lately so when I came across this version of Orzo Risotto on Serious Eats, I figured I'd give it a try.
This was really quick to make and very tasty. It went well as a side dish for chicken which is what Serious Eats recommended. Reminded me of a richer, tastier Rice-A-Roni, very creamy though not like real risotto. I'd make this anytime I wanted a nice pasta side dish. Mr. L really liked it.
Check out the Serious Eats recipe here as there are some interesting variations in the comments.
1 pound box orzo
2 cups chicken stock or other broth
Zest of one orange
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Bring a pot of salty water to boil, and cook orzo for 4-5 minutes, until softened but still hard in the center.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan to a simmer with the stock, thyme, and zest. Add parboiled orzo and stir well.
Simmer orzo in stock, stirring regularly, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Off the heat, stir in cheese and butter, and season with salt and pepper.
Note: I just used Better than Bullion for the stock. The orange I had was a bit small so there wasn't a strong orange taste but I probably would have added more if I'd had it.