Thursday, May 10, 2012

Orzo Carbonara-Style

I have been wanting to try orzo for a while and finally got around to making this dish which I have had bookmarked for a few months. I love risotto, and this was kind of similar, but was easier and quicker. After the broth/orzo mixture came to a boil, it only took about 8 mins to finish cooking, and you don't have to stir the orzo as much as risotto. Although I still love risotto, this is a great option if you are looking for something quick for dinner. It also was still pretty creamy and flavorfull a few days later, so it is great for leftovers.

~ Orzo Carbonara-Style ~

  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound orzo
  • 5 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-salt broth)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until crisp, five to eight minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat.

Add the butter the saucepan, and let cook until it starts to brown, about two minutes. Dump in the orzo, and still well. Pour in 4 1/2 cups of the stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender but al dente and the stock has been absorbed, about eight minutes.

Stir in the cream and the frozen peas, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Return the bacon to saucepan, and add half of the Parmesan cheese and all of the thyme. Stir well, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the remaining stock if it looks too dry. Turn off the heat. Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.

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