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This is something I developed to be eaten as a side or as a stand alone meal. Sometimes I add chicken Italian sausage after cooking to make it a complete meal. I remove the casing from the sausage and brown them separately. After breaking them apart in a hither tither fashion, I add them to the orzo. Rustic.
Melt butter in a large sauce pan and add olive oil. When hot, add orzo and stir constantly for the first few minutes. Let orzo get golden brown while stirring with less frequency. Add stock about 1/2 cup at a time and stir to incorporate...very similar to making risotto. Before pouring in the final cup of stock add the seasonings, withhold the cheese. Continue adding the final amount of stock and cheese once the stock has been fully absorbed. Serve as soon as possible though it does hold well for awhile. Add a little more stock prior to serving if it is to "sticky."
Other than adding sausage or other form of protein, there really isn't anything else needed. Sometimes I grind up some nuts (it doesn't really matter which kind) and sprinkle a little on top after plating. It looks nice. Freshly shaved Parmesan or other hard Italian cheese looks nice on top too. It's a non-conformist recipe so have fun with it. Very woodsy if you brown the orzo well.
This recipe was provided by Karl Herschede from Milwaukee (Bayview).