Risottos have become one of my favorite dishes to prepare (you probably know it as I share them fairly often around here!). There was a time I wouldn't dare making such a dish and I know many are still a bit scared to tackle it but it couldn't be easier and as Nigella has said it is a bit of a therapeutic dish to make, those 20 minutes you have to stir the rice are the perfect moment to gather your thoughts.
Anyway, over the weekend I made an orzotto, a very similar dish to the classic rice based risotto but using orzo instead. I used greek orzo (called kritharaki) handmade in my mom's village this summer with fresh eggs.
(for 2 as a main)
2 cups orzo
200 gr smoked bacon cut in small cubes
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
chicken stock (I used 1 cube in 500ml water)
1 cup of white wine
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
Wash and cut your asparagus in 1/2 pieces and prepare your bacon. Set aside.
Peel the onion and chop it finely. Prepare your stock by boiling your water and your cube and keep it warm.
In a large heavy pan warm up 2 tbsp of good quality olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until translucent.
Add the orzo and mix well until well combined with the onion and remaining oil. Add the wine and keep mixing, lower your heat. Once all the wine has been absorbed by the orzo add slowly the stock and keep stirring. Keep adding the stock until it's cooked and keep stirring all along. Add salt to taste, it will take about 20 minutes.
While you are cooking the orzo fry the asparagus first and when these are almost done add the bacon stripes, while cooking add salt and pepper to taste. Once cooked ad them to the orzo. Combine all the cooked ingredients. Turn off the heat and add the butter and the parmesan to taste.
Check out my other risotto and orzotto recipes: