Mushroom and Courgette Orzo

by hettychatters

Orzo is a ‘big rice’ pasta, which makes a great alternative to more commonly used shapes. I also like it because its so easy to cook, and creates its own sauce as you go along. So basically you can cook it like a risotto, only quicker, and so you’re certainly onto a winning dinner. It’s a really good, filling, homely and pretty dish which I shall certainly make again.

For 4 people:

250g Orzo
750ml hot water, working to about triple the ratio to pasta, but just play it by taste and sight
250g Mushrooms of choice, I used chestnut, finely sliced
1 courgette, shredded into ribbons
1 decent glug of white wine (optional)
1 good quality vegetable stock cube
1 Parmesan rind. (Yes! If you didn’t know already, keep your Parmy rinds for flavoring dishes)
A few leaves of Oregano
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil and a small notch of butter as liberally as you see fit
1 tablespoon of natural yogurt or sour cream

First cook the mushrooms in a big non-stick saucepan, with olive oil and butter, once they start to go juicy, add the Parmesan rind and Orzo, stir, then add your wine and evaporate the alcohol. Add the stock generously after this the same way you would with risotto by covering the pasta then stirring and repeating, and once the mixture starts to swell add the courgette ribbons (personally I prefer it if they retain some bite this is why I left it out until now). Continue to add the stock and stir until its at least double the volume, which should be about 12-15 minutes after starting to cook. Next, season to taste, then tear the Oregano in, and stir in the natural yogurt just before serving. I find this helps keep a nice smooth creamy texture.
Serve up and top with some freshly grated Parmesan, and be careful not to serve the Parmy rind to anyone!

I hope you enjoy, I did.