Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Orzo with Grilled Tomatoes and Fennel

Serves 6


1 lb orzo (if you can't find orzo,
   you can substitute any very small
   pasta, rice, or couscous, cooked)
Cooking Spray
2 large ripe (or 5 plum) tomatoes,
   cut into 3/8" slices
1 large fennel bulb, greens removed,
    cut into 3/8" slices
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil for brushing, plus 2 tbsp
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
   (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped


Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, spray grill rack well with cooking spray and preheat grill to medium-high. Season tomatoes and fennel on both sides with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil. Grill until well browned and softened. Remove from grill, dice and set aside.

In a small skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until onion is lightly browned. Remove from heat, and combine with tomatoes and fennel. (This can be done directly on the grill, or done ahead of time, and brought up to heat on the grill).

Drain orzo and return to pot. Add butter and combine. Add vegetables and combine well. Add Romano cheese, parsley and thyme, toss to coat. Serve either hot or warm. (I prefer it piping hot!)


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This page created July 1999