My friend Judy brought this dish to Bunco Night last year & I knew I had to have the recipe. Perhaps, the act of me having not 1 or 2 servings, but 3 helpings of this yummy goodness was a sign this would soon become a family favorite.
1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta) – reserved the left over pasta water!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano (or any other seasonings) , juices drained
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (I normally dump the entire bag in) 🙂
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir the pasta mixture until the sauce coats the pasta thickly, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to maintain a creamy consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.
*NOTES: Make sure you remove the pan from the heat when you add the Parmesan. You can even wait a bit for the pasta to cool down before you add it. If the pasta is too hot, the Parmesan will clump into gum ball sized cheese balls. Although, still edible, it is not the ideal consistency.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Friend Judy & Everyday Italian
Photo: Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com