Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Orzo Risotto with Sausage and Artichokes

I am getting my pasta in early this week! I wanted something easy yet satisfying for Presto Pasta Night, and no pasta is as easy as orzo*! It is a dainty rice-shaped pasta that cooks up super-fast - which is just what you need when you want dinner in a hurry!

Except, making a risotto out of it sortof ruins the point, right? Don't you worry, the risotto-stirring lasts mere moments (15 minutes), which isn't long enough to get annoyed by it. In its favor, the orzo is sauteed in the sausage drippings - and who doesn't like sausage fat?

You wouldn't believe how creamy the orzo was! Yes, yes, I know there are 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese mixed in... but before I added the cheese, the pasta was already nicely creamy - I was so excited!

You can't really see the artichokes in the photo above because they were mostly the same shade as the pasta, but I promise they're in there. I used extra peas, too, because I love them. This pasta was thick and creamy and such a wonderful comforting dinner. As happy as I am to welcome Spring, I'm more than a little sad that dinners like these won't be around again for a while.

* At least to me!

Orzo Risotto with Sausage and Artichokes
c/o Food and Wine Magazine, March 2008

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups orzo (10 ounces)
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and quartered
1 cup frozen baby peas
3 tablespoons snipped chives
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

In a deep, 10-inch skillet, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook over high heat, pressing to flatten, until cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Break the sausage into bite-size pieces. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the stock and 2 cups of water and cook, stirring constantly, until the orzo is al dente and suspended in a thick creamy broth, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the sausage, artichokes, peas, chives and cheese to the orzo. Cook, stirring, until the peas are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Serve the orzo risotto in bowls, passing extra cheese at the table.


Ruth Daniels said...

It does look tasty, even for a sicky like me....in fact very comforting. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Deborah said...

Yum, yum, yum!! I have never made risoto from orzo - I really need to try this one out!

Psychgrad said...

This looks great! I've been looking for a way to use my orzo. Thanks!

Dusty said...

this is quick and easy, delicious and the best one pot meal ever...toss a salad and you have a great meal.