The pasta I'm using this week is Orzo
It may look like rice but it is a durum wheat pasta and I will be using it in a very traditional manner - in a simple vegetable soup.
Vegetable Soup with Orzo
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 small red capsicum, finely diced
1 large stalk of celery, finely diced
1 zucchini, finely diced
1 large tomato, diced finely
salt and freshly ground white pepper
handful of orzo, per person
I've made a very simple vegetable soup and the ingredients should only be used as a guide - feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand.
Place a little olive oil and butter into a saucepan over a medium heat - when butter has melted add the onion, carrot, celery and red capsicum and cook slowly until the vegetables start to soften (you may need to turn the heat down to ensure they don't colour).
Now add the zucchini and cook until it has started to soften and then tip in the tomato. Wait until the tomato starts to break down before adding the orzo followed by enough boiling water (or stock if so desired) to cover the vegetables by about 2cm/1inch.
Turn the heat up to maintain a boiling temperature and cook for about 5 minutes. Remember to keep stirring so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the fresh peas and then taste and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Turn off the heat and cover and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes - during this time the pasta will finish cooking by absorbing the cooking stock but won't become mushy.
Before serving add a little more stock if it looks a little dry and bring it back to temperature.
If you like, sprinkle each bowl with a little freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.