Mushrooms infused with the flavors of white wine, garlic and shallots. Orzo simmered in chicken stock. It’s a marriage made in heaven. It has flavors like risotto without the labor-intensive cooking process.
Making risotto is a really specific process. You slowly cook Arborio rice, adding small additions of liquid (usually stock) until it’s fully cooked. There is a lot of stirring and hands-on attention necessary to make a perfect batch. And the reward for all your attention is a lovely, complex, creamy rice dish that wows everyone.
But sometimes you want that flavor without the whole process. This Risotto-Style Mushroom Orzo is my solution. Orzo, which is a small cut of pasta, is cooked in stock (or chicken broth), infusing it with fabulous, rich, chicken-y flavor. Then, mushrooms that have been cooked with shallots, garlic, white wine and a bit of the pasta stock or broth (see pan below) is mixed in. It’s finished with sharp provolone cheese.
While this isn’t creamy like risotto, it does share that complex flavoring that makes risotto so special. And it can be made in 25 minutes or less – without a lot of hands on work.
Serve this as a side dish with roasted chicken
and a big salad.
What’s your favorite risotto? Share in the comments!
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.