Creamy orzo with peas and basil

A one pot meatless meal that’s ready in just 15 minutes!

Based on the tremendous popularity of a previous vegetarian pasta recipe I shared (orzo with mushrooms and spinach), I decided to create a second, vegan-friendly version of this easy, one-pot meal. This time, I swapped in peas and heaps of fresh basil. Peas and mint are a wildly popular combination in France so I think I will try that next time. If reheating leftovers, be sure to add a little bit of broth or water to recreate the creamy consistency. If you’re a fan of orzo – the quick cooking, rice-shaped pasta – you might also like these vegetarian recipes: baked pasta and cheese bites and  crisp and colourful Waldorf pasta salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine (substitute with more broth, if desired)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) vegetable broth (use low sodium if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative), divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, in wedges (to garnish)

Method

  • Place a 2 quart (2 L) Dutch oven or heavy duty pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and let it warm for a few seconds then add the shallot; sauté, stirring, until softened, 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute longer, then add orzo plus a few grinds of salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the wine, give it a good stir, then let come to a boil. Cook for 1 minute until wine has mostly evaporated. Add the broth and peas, then cover the pot, reduce heat to just simmering, and let the pasta cook, stirring occasionally, until most but not all of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  • Note that if the liquid has absorbed and your pasta isn’t quite done (this will depend upon the width of your pot and the intensity of the heat on your stove), you can add another few tablespoons of broth or water until the orzo is al dente.
  • Sprinkle the chopped basil and 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the Parmesan over top and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Serve immediately in warmed bowls with remaining parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and additional black pepper, if desired. Add a wedge of lemon to each bowl so it can be squeezed over top and stirred in.

Serves 3 – 4.

About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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2 Responses to Creamy orzo with peas and basil

  1. rysterr says:

    Well this looks excellent – I/2 cup of Basil yum but $ $ .. Happy New Year to you and Mike .

    On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 5:17 PM Constantly Cooking wrote:

    > Paula Roy posted: “A one pot meatless meal that’s ready in just 15 > minutes! Based on the tremendous popularity of a previous vegetarian pasta > recipe I shared (orzo with mushrooms and spinach), I decided to create a > second, vegan-friendly version of this easy, one-pot meal.” >

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