Caprese Orzo

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After filling up on turkey and all the fixings last week, I decided to share some lighter dishes with you to keep your meals fresh and less calorie dense. This dish that I’m sharing is a side dish made of orzo that has been cooked in chicken broth with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. It’s a prefect side dish! You could also make this a main course by adding chicken or sausage to it. Because we are now in the holiday spirit and all we want to do is bake mass amounts of cookies (or at least I do), I thought that we could use some lighter meals.

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This is a pretty simple dish, and doesn’t take much time to make. Start this dish by adding some olive oil to a pan over medium heat, and add some onion and garlic. Cook this for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, and then add the orzo. Stir this around to coat the orzo in the olive oil. Then start adding chicken broth in ½ cup increments. Stir quite often, and once the broth is absorbed by the orzo, add more chicken broth. Continue doing this until the pasta is tender. It will take about 15 minutes. This is same process as risotto, except it takes less time. Once all the broth is absorbed and pasta is tender, add tomatoes, stir those around, and let it cook for a minute or two. Then add the mozzarella, stir to combine and cook for an additional minute. Stir in basil, and serve!

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Caprese Orzo (ADAPTED FROM EMERIL LAGASSE)

  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, minced
  • ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 cups of chicken stock, heated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cups of diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of diced fresh mozzarella (I increased this amount)
  • thinly sliced basil

Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the orzo and stir well to coat.

Gradually add the hot chicken stock in ½ cup increments, stirring until all of the stock has been absorbed before adding more. Continue doing this until all the stock is used, the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is just tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes to the orzo and cook until just heated through, 1 -2 minutes. Add the mozzarella and cook for another 2 minutes or just until  incorporated. Stir in the basil, and serve.

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