Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas

This is a nice, easy pasta bake that you can make quickly for a weeknight meal or serve with an impressive dinner! I halved the original amounts the recipe calls for since it was only the two of us eating it. That still gave us a hearty 4 or more servings though when I served it as a side dish with Parmesan Pork Chops (coming tomorrow!) and a green salad.

The recipe is originally from Giada but I found it through Lauren's Kitchen who got it from Elizabeth's Edible Experience. All of us liked it a lot - the sauteed mushrooms and onions combined with the Marsala wine give a wonderful rich flavor that combines nicely with the peas and the cheeses. If you can't find fontina, no worries, just use more mozzarella! Also, the breadcrumbs on top were not crisp enough for me so next time I may mix them with a little melted butter to make it even more delicious!

Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas
modified from Giada DeLaurentiis
Makes 4 hearty side dish servings

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound orzo pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine or chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fontina
1/2 cup (2 ounces) mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the Marsala. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and cook until the Marsala has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the orzo with broth to the mushroom mixture. Add the cream, fontina, mozzarella, peas, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and dried thyme. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the pasta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.


Kristen616 said...

Oh my gosh I'm TOTALLY making this next week! I loveee orzo but never thought to bake it! I can't wait to try this...thanks! It looks SO good!

kathleen & tom said...

I have this one on my blog too! We loved it!

Anonymous said...

this looks awesome. I am always looking for different sides!

Maria said...

I love orzo, never baked it before! Looks awesome!

Katie said...

WHOA this sounds great! I simply adore pasta this time of year.

Anonymous said...

i've never had orzo but that sounds really good!

Ashley @ The Happy Little Home said...

I just made this a couple of weeks ago because I saw it on TV. It is SO good. Thanks for reminding me to make it again. I love your blog :)

priscilla joy said...

Yum, does this look yummy. Mm.