close-up photo of Parmesan basil orzo in a white bowl

Parmesan Basil Orzo

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I never really understood orzo. Rice-shaped pasta?  Pasta-flavored rice?  I was never quite sure so I avoided it altogether — until now. This dish is actually Hayley’s recipe– my daughter and co-author of this blog, so this is is actually a review.  It’s good! Serve this as a side dish with fish or roast chicken, or curl up on the couch and enjoy it just as it is. This is comfort in a bowl.
 — L. Weal

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) orzo pasta
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 sprigs basil (about 12 large leaves)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

large (12-inch) skillet with lid
measuring cups and spoons
cooking spoon
cutting board
chef’s knife

1. Combine butter and orzo in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté orzo in melted butter, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted — about 5 minutes.
2. Add stock, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed — about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse and mince basil leaves.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and minced basil.

• No fresh basil on hand? Substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil.
• Look for grated Parmesan in the dairy case – not that shelf-stable stuff in the pasta aisle – for best flavor.

25 minutes

6 servings

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