Saturday, August 15, 2009


The word orzo is Italian for “barley,” and a reference to the size and shape of the pasta. Orzo pasta is a type of pasta which is made in the shape of a grain of rice. Orzo pasta is often about rice-sized, as well. This pasta is very versatile, and it can be used in a range of recipes, with many people consuming orzo in soups. Many markets carry orzo pasta, and several options may be available for consumers to choose from.

This is my first time using orzo pasta and it really delicious with the recipe provided below.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Serves : 4 to 6 servings


1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 pound orzo pasta ( I used Barilla )
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
7 oz (2 links) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled


Using tongs, place the bell peppers over the gas flame. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred on all sides, about 5-6 minutes (Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 5-8 minutes, until charred). Place the charred peppers in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for 20 minutes. Under running water, peel away the charred skin from the peppers. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water and kosher salt to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally about 8-10 minutes.

While the pasta is cooking: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tbsp of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well to combine all ingredients, adding reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Top with the ricotta salata and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.


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