Orzo is probably one of my favourite pasta types. Hands down.
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that you can cook and serve in the same way you do rice. That is, you can boil it until the liquid is absorbed, cook it risotto-style, or bake it, which is what we are going to do.
And, because it is pasta, you can also cook it via the traditional pasta method where you drain away the excess cooking liquid after it is done.
Orzo is not a type of grain. It is a form of pasta, which means it is made from wheat. So if you follow a gluten-free diet, then orzo is not for you. 🙁
As part of our family effort to reduce our meat intake, we are trying to introduce a new vegetarian meal every week. It has to be fast, or prepared in advance to fit in with our life styles. Most vegetarian meals involve lots of chopping, and often an array of spices, so I wanted this first one to be simple and elegant with minimal input from me!
My Easy Cheesy Orzo Bake
1 x 400ml of tinned tomatoes, or tomato passata (use the passata if you want a smoother sauce)
80ml of water
200g of baby spinach, washed
50g grated cheddar (optional)
Oil a baking dish (approximately 2pints size) lightly. Add the tomato passata and the water. Season well.
Stir in the orzo and the spinach.
It will look at this stage that the spinach is 90% pf the dish and frankly, looks like a mess.
Remove the bake from the oven, and turn on your grill setting to high.
Add the grated cheese on top of the nearly cooked bake, and grill until golden.
Divine with a green salad.