Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

June 15, 2006

Continuing on my quest to find recipes to use my basil with, I came across this one. I made it tonight with pork chops, but in the future, I’ll be making it with chicken cut up, sauteed and then mixed in with it for a complete meal. This dish is really yummy and sooo easy. Great as a side dish or a meal.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (yes, the stuff in a can)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dry minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo, garlic and minced onion and saute until lightly browned.
Stir in chicken stock (reserve about 2 Tbsp*) and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt** and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.

*I reserved 2 Tbsp of chicken stock because I’d read reviews that said this got dry as it sat, waiting to be served. So if you’re going to keep it warm on the stove, as I did, before serving add the reserved chicken stock. It will give it just a little moisture.

**I didn’t add any salt. I thought it was salty enough with the chicken stock and parmesan.

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