What a wonderful last five days it has been for me. I love my kids more than anything, but it isn’t until I became a mother that I realized the value of absolute silence. My boys, 4 and 6 (along with their two cousins, 6 and 9, also boys) got to take a five-day camping trip to the coast with their Grammie and Papa (Yeah, I know, they were brave grandparents). While I missed my boys dearly and worried about them constantly, I was completely caught off guard with how much I enjoyed the silence I experienced for those five days. No whining, no fighting, no yelling… just the faint sound of the fountain splashing in our pond…. aaaahhhhhh…. I completely organized and deep cleaned our house and re-arranged a bunch of our furniture. My hubby and I went out on several dinner and lunch dates and even skipped our workouts and went straight for the sauna and hot tub at the gym. I needed that time so much to rejuvenate me. And now that my sweet, crazy boys are home, their yelling and fighting is met with a much softer, more understanding mommy.
So, I’m sure many of you are asking “What in tar-nation is Orzo?” Am I right? Okay, maybe you didn’t use the word “tar-nation.” For those of you who have never heard of Orzo, it’s time you experienced the wonderfully versatile pasta that is shaped like a slightly larger grain of rice. You can find it in any grocery store in the pasta aisle or some grocers carry it in their bulk section. On of my friends (Miss Katie) also makes a killer cold Orzo salad with cucumbers and feta and some kind of dressing… yumola!
This recipe is one of our family’s favorites because it tastes a lot like the Rice-O-Roni (“the San Fransisco Treat!” …maybe I am dating myself a bit here..) but waaaaayyyy better. Anyways, bottom line, Rice-O-Roni tastes delish in a Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese kind of way but it is one of those boxed food items that probably has more preservatives and terrible stuff for you in it than it does good stuff. Here is where the boxed treat meets gourmet. This recipe would go over as a side with just about any meal from burgers to roasted lamb. It’s fabulous and just as fast as the boxed stuff.
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup uncooked Orzo pasta
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth – or 2 tsp chicken base and slightly less than 2 cups of water.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 and 1/2 Tbsp dried basil)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil and Parmesan for garnishing
Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in Orzo and saute until lightly browned.
Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. If you are using dried basil, add it now, if using fresh, wait. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until Orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil (if using fresh). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs and shaved Parmesan.
As always, I like to give credit where credit is due. I found this recipe a few years back on allrecipes.com, submitted by DODIEPAJER.