For many years, Mediterranean foods have been among the most sought after dishes, since their delicious and satisfying recipes can brighten up a cold boring day or be the center of a conversation in a meeting with friends and acquaintances.

But what is Orzo?

That’s an interesting question since the appearance of this pasta can lead to wrong conclusions. As you may have noticed, it resembles common rice in appearance, but it is really pasta. Although it can absorb liquids, which makes it not only look like rice but also feels like rice, its taste will always be that of a light pasta.

Some interesting details about Orzo

Although it has become clear that this pasta is highly appreciated by most people, perhaps the following details about orzo will convince you to give it a try.

  • Due to its compact size, you will only need between 8 and 9 minutes to boil a cup of orzo.
  • This pasta absorbs flavors quite well and acts as an excellent filler for different dishes.
  • You can find gluten-free varieties, in case you are gluten-intolerant, however regular orzo is usually not gluten-free.
  • In 2 ounces of orzo (one serving) there’s only 200 calories.
  • As long as it is dry, in one third cup of orzo there are 7 grams of protein.
  • Orzo is a really tasty food that can be eaten warm or cold.

Furthermore, orzo pasta can be found in different varieties other than the original, for example colored and flavored with vegetables, like the well known spinach orzo.

Learn to cook Greek Orzo Pasta Salad

Before preparing this recipe, a few points must be clarified. For example, is orzo healthy? Well, it is a wheat semolina pasta in the form of an elongated rice grain, excellent for your health, as it has low sodium content and is beneficial for bone metabolism. Orzo is a staple food widely used in Mediterranean cuisine such as Italian or Greek.

To learn how to cook orzo, check out this Greek-style orzo pasta salad, a dish that is easy to prepare and perfect for those hot summer days.

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams of orzo pasta. 
  • 100 grams of sweet corn.
  • 1 tomato.
  • 1 piece of onion.
  • 1 pinch of chopped parsley.
  • 2 tablespoons green olives.
  • 80 grams of feta cheese.
  • 1 dash of lemon.
  • 1 dash of olive oil.
  • 1 pinch of salt.

First you have to chop the tomato and onions into small squares. Try to make them as small as possible but without overdoing it, to ensure that the vegetables texture will be felt.

Cook the orzo pasta in plenty of boiling water with a little salt. The approximate cooking time is 6 minutes. However, following the manufacturer’s recommendations usually printed on the package is advisable.

Mix the corn with the green olives, the chopped spring onion and tomato. Add the cooked orzo pasta and season the Greek salad with salt, a few drops of lemon and olive oil. Mix well to blend the flavors properly. 

Lastly, we serve the orzo pasta salad with a little crumbled feta cheese and some sprinkled fresh parsley.

 

Orzo with spinach and parmesan cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons of flour.
  • 1 cup of milk.
  • 2/3 cups fresh spinach, chopped.
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (grated).

The orzo must be cooked first, just follow the instructions on the packaging. 

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the minced garlic for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper at taste.

Now incorporate the flour and stir for a minute, then add 1/4 cup of the milk to the saucepan and beat thoroughly. Be careful and don’t let lumps form.

Add the rest of the milk and stir to blend, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, which will take about 8 minutes.

Now it’s time to incorporate the chopped spinach and cook until you see it is softening. 

Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese. Lastly, when the cheese has melted, add the orzo and stir before serving.

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