Creamy Orzo


Orzo (OHR-zoh) – In Italian this means “barley”, but it’s actually small rice-shaped pasta, that is smaller in size than a pine nut. Orzo is ideal for soups and can be used as a substitute for rice.

Yield: 6 Servings


1 pound orzo

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, juices drained

1-1/4 cups whipping cream

1 cup frozen peas thawed

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly grated black pepper 


Bring a heavy saucepan of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy, large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan cheese to the mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and freshly grated black pepper and serve. 

Source:  Giada De Laurentis – FoodNetwork – Episode #El1F01