~more recently updated recipes~
2006 Original: Funny. This pasta and spinach has been a year-round favorite for so long that it's made two cookbooks, one for church, one for family. So how nearly 300 Veggie Venture days have passed without its appearance here is beyond explanation. But with little ado, here it is, just simple orzo with spinach, Parmesan and pine nuts. Fast, easy, and unless you're a carb counter, not entirely unhealthful.
2012: Funny again. I still make this recipe off and on, it's so easy to throw together. The trick is to use plenty of garlic and let the garlic essence really develop as it turns golden.
"I use this recipe for inspiration all the time. ... I've passed it on to many friends, and have probably posted it to my Facebook feed more than once. Thanks so much for the inspiration!" ~ Renee
"I love coming across vegetarian recipes that are quick. I asked my granddaughter to describe and she said it was 'BAZOOMA GOOD'!" ~ Anonymous
RECIPE for ORZO with SPINACH
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 3 cups
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic (3 cloves, minced, this time, I don't recommend garlic from a jar)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon was too little)
3/4 cups orzo or tiny pasta bits
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan
About 5 ounces tender baby spinach, stems removed
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, optional
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the garlic and let cook for a minute. Then add the water, salt and orzo. (Yes, put the pasta straight into the cold water. This is an atypical way to cook pasta but it's the way the recipe I've been using for so many years is written and does work.) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to MEDIUM, cover and let simmer until pasta is done and water is absorbed. Stir in the Parmesan and stir to distribute. Stir in the spinach in batches, adding more as what's there wilts/cooks from the heat of the pasta. Stir in the pine nuts. Serve and enjoy.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
2006 NEXT TIME I might add a finely minced chili with the garlic to punch up the flavor.
2012 PINE NUTS Pine nuts are so expensive now and are dense calories so now I skip them entirely. The texture contrast of the nuts is missed however, if I were serving this to guests, I'd include them.
2012 LEFTOVER PASTA WATER I'm not sure why, but the last time or two I've made this, the pasta has been cooked well before the water has been absorbed. So I just drain the water and so much of the starch right off.
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MORE FAVORITE RECIPES MIXING VEGETABLES & PASTA
~ Summer Orzo with Radicchio ~
~ Spicy Thai Noodle Salad ~
~ Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ~
~ more vegetable & pasta recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Greek Pasta Salad ~
~ BLT Pasta Salad ~
~ Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon ~
~ more pasta recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006