Allow me to present yet another dish that tastes better than it looks: Butternut squash “orzotto.” (To be fair, this is probably more indicative of my photography skills and the fact that I’m taking pictures after the sun sets.) Basically, you pretend your pasta is rice, stirring warm broth into the pasta as it cooks. The result is a creamy, comforting bowl of carbs.
I stumbled on this a few weeks ago when I was checking out old recipes in Google Reader. (Side note: I have yet to try out any of the new Google Reader alternatives… does anyone have a favorite yet? July is coming quickly!) It looked easy enough for a weeknight (especially since I have cooked squash in the freezer), and I always feel better when I can bulk up my pasta with veggies. 🙂 And since orzo cooks so much faster than rice, it comes together so much quicker than regular risotto.
Unfortunately, we liked it so much that we finished it all that night. In fact, I had to fight Andy away from the bowl while I was taking pictures! He polished it off as soon as I put the lens cap back. And then we both ate PB&J for lunch the next day.
Butternut Squash Orzotto
3/4 cup butternut squash puree
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups chicken broth or stock
splash of white wine (or additional stock/broth)
1 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
fresh ground pepper
Drizzle the olive oil in a large skillet. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, and then add the onions to the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
While the onions are cooking, warm the broth in a saucepan. Keep it warm until ready to use.
Deglaze the pan with the wine (a couple of tablespoons), scrapping up the browned bits. Cook until the liquid is almost gone. Add the orzo to the pot and stir until it is completely coated. Add 3/4 cup of broth to the pasta. Cook, stirring often until the broth is almost absorbed. Add the broth in 3/4 cup increments, stirring often and reserving 3/4 cup. (Be sure the broth is almost all absorbed before adding the next batch.)
Stir the squash, cinnamon and cayenne into the pasta. Add the last 3/4 of broth and stir to combine. Just before all of the broth has been absorbed, stir in the cheese. Remove the pot from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Click here for a printable version.