Making pasta is a way to ensure that everyone has a meal they enjoy – adding melty cheese to it makes it even more of a success. Once in a while though I like to change it up and move away from Spaghetti or Penne. Using orzo and cooking it like Risotto seemed like the prefect way to do this. I like that this recipe also allowed me to use our last tomatoes and tiny little basil leaves growing outside. It’s comfort food with a node to late summer – a time where you can cuddle up with blankets, walk through piles of leaves on a crisp day, but tomatoes still burst with flavour. I urge you to try this simple recipe – it truly is comfort in a bowl.
Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Orzo (adapted from Emeril Lagasse)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 2 cups of orzo pasta
- 4 cups of chicken stock, heated
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of diced fresh mozzarella (I increased this amount)
- thinly sliced basil
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add the red onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the orzo and stir well to coat.
- Gradually add the hot chicken stock in 1/2 cup increments, stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Do this until you used up all the stock, the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is just tender – about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomatoes to the orzo and cook until just heated through, 1 -2 minutes. Add the mozzarella and cook for another 2 minutes or just until incorporated.
- To serve, spoon the orzo into bowls and garnish with basil.