In homage to my garden peas, of which I am so proud this year, I tried some Orzo with Bacon, Peas and Parmesan Cheese. I don’t know how I managed to never hear about Orzo but now that I have, it is like someone who lives in your street that you never new existed for years until suddenly one day you are introduced and after that you bump into them, every half an hour, for the next three weeks. So it is with Orzo – it seems to be everywhere at the moment. Merchant Gourmet have added it to their impressive range of ingredients along with Giant Cous Cous and Camargue Red Rice and all sorts of things I am constantly on the hunt for. They really seem to be a company with their finger on the pulse.
Anyway, I was really impressed with Orzo. It sort of has the texture of something between tiny Gnocchi and perfectly cooked rice – something I am still striving to achieve! This recipe took me about 10 minutes to make from start to finish and made a fantastic family lunch. Quicker and less fattening than Risotto, I most certainly will be using a lot more of it. I can’t wait to try it in my Minestrone.
Orzo with Bacon, Peas and Parmesan
2 Tablespoons olive oil
200g Streaky Bacon, cut in small lardons
150g orzo pasta
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Little Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Fry the bacon in a little oil, over a medium heat until really crispy. Remove from the heat. Cook the Orzo in plenty of salted, boiling water. If using fresh peas, add after about 3 minutes, if using frozen peas, add after about 6 minutes. Bring back to the boil and cook for about 6-7 minutes in total. Drain when cooked and add to the bacon. Use the oil from the bacon to coat the pasta and add the Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with young pea shoots.