When I was little, I always gave my mom a hard time about making orzo. I picked a fight every time we ate it because “it’s not pasta, it’s rice!” and would have to sit there and (un)patiently listen to her tell me that orzo is, in fact, pasta. It was a whole big thing. But I’m over it (sorry, Mom). Even though it still LOOKS a lot like rice. Just saying.
Anywho, Mom sent me some
rice orzo in a care package awhile back, and I recently discovered the last half of the package sitting in my pantry. “Eureka!” I thought. “I’ll make some orzo!”
And make orzo I did. This
rice pasta is great because it is quick to make but still flavorful. Annnnd it has parmesan cheese. Which means I am instantly a fan. Plus, it’s a great, light side dish for pretty much anything. Versatility! I like it.
Parmesan & Spinach Orzo
2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. flour
1 cup milk (I used skim!)
2/3 cups spinach, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish
1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute or until onions are translucent. Add flour to form a roux and cook for an additional minute.
3. Add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the pot and whisk to work out any lumps from the roux. When lumps are worked out, add the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes.
4. Add chopped spinach to sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes or until spinach has cooked down. Remove sauce from heat.
5. Stir parmesan cheese into sauce. When cheese has melted, add cooked orzo to sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately.