Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cielo Chiaro Special: Orzo Vegetale con Crema

I’m not sure of the name here--makes it sound a stitch like it’s some brown orzo made from a vegetable spread and then turned into a warm drink. That may make you want to choke a little (sorry about that). The real recipe here isn’t anything like that though (whew). One of Natalie’s creations, this orzo was a wonderful way to use up a few veggies we had round the house that weren’t old, but were middle-aged, and a way to use the world’s favorite un-assuming tiny pasta: orzo. Less majestic than risotto, and less time-consuming, orzo has more give that its rice-ier relative, too--not as muscular and more forgiving. This recipe also gave us another chance (one of about, say, 196) to use the Italian cooking cream, or panna cucina. Not found in the refrigerated section, but on the shelf in terrapacks (like soy milk), panna cucina is much thicker than American heavy cream, almost pouring out in the shape of the box. Because of this thickness, it creates wonderfully simple cream sauces and also melts in smooth into dishes such as this one (which we had with some wonderful extra dry Prosecco picked up at Domini).

1 Tablespoon butter
One medium onion, chopped
Two medium carrots, chopped
2 cups veggie stock
1 cup orzo
1-1/2 peas (frozen, but fresh would work)
1 cup panna cucina
1/3 cup Gorgonzola dolce (which is Gorgonzola and mascarpone, like here)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:1. Place the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat. Once the butter bubbles, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for a couple minutes or until they’re just getting golden. Add the carrots to the pan, and sauté five more minutes.

2. Add the stock, stir, and add the orzo. Cook 8 to 10 minutes until the orzo is close to al dente-ish.

3. Add the peas, cook two minutes, and the panna cucina and the Gorgonzola. Stir, cook for another minute or two until everything is well combined. Taste, add salt and pepper as desired, stir, and taste again. Serve hot.

*See more specials: Penne e Noce, Zuppa di Pomodoro e’ Fagioli, Italian Burgers,Torta Vegetariana, Lasagna Vegetariana con Tartufo Crema, Homemade Tagliatelle e Gorgonzola

*See all Cielo Chiaro Specials

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