Orzotto with Fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes!
A while back I posted about a risotto I made with orzo pasta instead of Arborio rice. This is something I do frequently, so I figured I needed a name for it, hence orzotto! You make orzotto the same way you make risotto; it takes about the same amount of time and is just as versatile as risotto, meaning you can add pretty much anything you want in there! This time, I made it with orzo, zucchini, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. It was very light and fresh, and oh so cheesy! To me though, it tasted as if it was lacking something…and it took me until this morning to pin point what…this was the first time I have ever had any form of risotto without spinach or arugula or some type of green! This one was still delicious and I love the cheesiness of it, but I think I would add in some spinach next time!
Orzotto with Fresh Mozz and tomatoes:
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T butter
- package of pancetta from Trader Joe’s (obviously this is optional or you can use whatever kind you want/have/like)!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced thinly
- 1 package orzo pasta (can use Arborio rice in place as well)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken broth (simmering on low heat on the stove)
- 1/2 cup pecorino-romano or parm
- fresh mozzarella, cubed into small pieces
- tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes and halved them but use whatever kind and as many as you like)!
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat up the chicken broth in a small saucepan and let simmer. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter over medium high heat until butter melts. Add pancetta, onions and zucchini, saute until veggies are soft and pancetta is crisp, about 5-7 minutes, salting and peppering to taste. Add in garlic and orzo pasta, toasting orzo until lightly browned. Deglaze pan with white wine, cooking until reduced by at least half. Add in broth a cup at a time, letting the pasta absorb it after each addition and stirring frequently to avoid burning the bottom or having it stick too much to the pan. After orzo is cooked to your liking ( it took me exactly the 6 cups of broth but you may or may not use it all), shut off heat but leave pan on hot burner, and add in cheeses, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Let cook until cheese melts and tomatoes are heated through. Serve with more romano or parm and some warm bread!
Since I already have a post going, I would like to mention a restaurant that we ate at Friday night as well. Josh took me there a few years ago for my birthday and we ended up going back to see if it was as good as we remember…to our delight, it certainly was! The place is called Chilipan, it is a very small, BYOB restaurant located in Logan Square on Armitage. It is incredibly good and the prices are very reasonable! I ordered a chicken that was stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and cheese and smothered in a mole poblano cream sauce and served with cilantro potatoes and garlic spinach and Josh ordered a skirt steak that was rolled with spinach and cheese served on top of sauteed mushrooms and garlic pureed potatoes with a tomato salsa type sauce! The couple we were with also enjoyed the restaurant and ordered the same dish as Josh and enchiladas which they reported to be tasty as well! We were going to a movie afterwards so did not order dessert so we can enjoy some candy during the show, but the chocolate tamale is not to be missed if you go!