My Brazilian nature often predisposes me towards rice, but the more I cook orzo, the more I like it. It might be more versatile than rice, it cooks faster, and it’s absolutely fool proof, all of which adds to its charm. The inspiration for this recipe came from an old Fine Cooking magazine, but I simplified it quite a bit because the original seemed a tad too busy: too many flavors fighting for attention. This pared-down version was a winner!
1 cup orzo
2 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
8 oz spinach leaves, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or dried, reconstituted with hot water)
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
salt and pepper
Start cooking the orzo on a large pot with salted water (it should take around 9 minutes).
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet and saute the shallots, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms, saute until they start to get golden brown. Add the chopped spinach, cook until it begins to wilt. At this point, if the orzo is not cooked yet, turn the heat off and reserve.
When the orzo is almost cooked, remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water and reserve it. Turn the heat back to medium on the skillet with the spinach mix, squirt lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper. Drain the orzo and add it to the skillet, mixing well. Add some of the pasta water if necessary. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If desired, sprinkle parmiggiano-reggiano on top.
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Comments: For years I’ve made quick pan sauces for pasta with the cooking water and some sauteed veggies. Spinach is a constant player in such dishes, but this was the first time I chopped the leaves before sauteeing. Voila‘: it was much better! Somehow, even with baby spinach, the whole leaves had a tendency to clump instead of reaching a nice distribution. Live and learn. 😉
This was a quick dish to put together! It will drop into my regular rotation of meals for busy weeknights, keeping the orzo/spinach/lemon foundation and playing with other options: black olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper, artichoke hearts….
receita em portugues na proxima pagina….