I discovered orzo, which is a small oval shaped pasta, a few years ago and fell in love with it. Once it’s cooked, it almost has a creamy texture. I ate a version of this dish at a restaurant a few years ago and came home determined to recreate it. This isn’t an exact replica, but it’s very tasty.
Notes: When I initially made this dish and recorded it, I didn’t add the lemon. But this dish needs it. Juice from half a lemon is just enough to take this dish to the next level. Next, fresh basil is amazing. It tastes nothing like it’s dried counterpart.
Servings: 4 medium size sides
Cost per Serving: $1.56
4 cups water
1 ½ cups orzo
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil
2 roasted red/yellow/orange peppers (fresh or in the jar), thinly sliced
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of half a lemon
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the orzo and salt and stir.
- Cook uncovered 8-9 minutes, until the orzo is soft and has absorbed most of the water.
- While the orzo is cooking, add the oil, basil and peppers to a food processor blender and blend until the basil is chopped and everything is combined.
- Drain the pasta and pour the basil-pepper mixture over it.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Stir to combine and serve.
Roasting Fresh Bell Peppers
- Cut them in half and remove the stems and seeds.
- Set the oven rack in the oven as high as it can possibly go. You will want your baking sheet directly under the broilers.
- Turn the oven on at "broil." If you have the option, choose low broil.
- Slit the halved red peppers a few times at both ends so that they will lay fairly flat.
- Lay the slit pepper halves out on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast the peppers.
- Watch the peppers closely. This process takes about 8 minutes.
- When the skins are blackened and charred pretty evenly, they are done. It's okay if the skins still have some red places, as long as they are mostly charred.
- Place the completely blackened bell pepper into a paper bag, close the bag and let the peppers steam for at least 20 minutes.
- Once the peppers have steamed in the paper bag for at least 20 minutes, rub the skin off and slice them.
This is #4 of 7 Side Dishes that Just Might Steal the Show