Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Staff Council

Creamy Orzo with Pancetta

Posted on May 6, 2013

My family loves this recipe! I often serve it with a roast chicken and a tossed salad. It is simple...and delicious.

¼ cup of diced pancetta
2 tbsp. of butter or olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1½ cups of orzo (uncooked)
2 ½ cups chicken broth
½ cup frozen petite peas
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven or a deep pot, melt the butter or heat the olive oil. Add your onion and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt. Sauté the onions so they start to soften. Add the pancetta and stir. I like to cook the onions and pancetta for about 5 minutes to give the pancetta time to soften. Let the pepper and salt help the onions to cook.

Add the uncooked orzo to the pan with the onion and pancetta. Let the orzo brown just a little or “toast”.

Keep stirring to avoid burning. This brings a wonderful flavor to the dish.  If the orzo sticks to the pan, add a little more olive oil and stir.
Once there is some color to the orzo, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds--making sure not to burn to avoid a bitter taste. Add the chicken broth to this mixture.  A homemade stock will add flavor but a store bought chicken broth will do. A low sodium chicken broth is best as the parmesan is salty.

Stir to combine all ingredients. Put the lid on and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The orzo will fluff up and the chicken broth will be absorbed. Take the pan off the heat. Add the Parmesan and stir until cheese is melted and stir in frozen petite peas. I add a handful or more. Cover, and let the peas cook for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir.

I must tell you that I always double this recipe! And, it is great reheated in the microwave. Happy Spring!

Submitted by Nora Brosseau

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