Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Orzo Skillet

February 7: Dinner

One of the people who inspired this blog is my friend, Amy. Her forays into cooking with her husband over the past year or so has enhanced my interest in the same, and her careful planning of meals from cookbooks in coordination with grocery shopping trips has convinced me that it’s possible to explore the world of cooking without spending a fortune on ingredients.

Last night, I trekked to Orange County to spend an evening with Amy, and in the midst of catching up on tons of conversation, we made a rather simple, one-pot meal. I took the recipe from the Big Book of Slow Cooker, Casseroles, and More, as it was easy to transport the ingredients and not spend too much time to prepare dinner.

The changes we made from the original recipe included using spicy Italian sausage instead of turkey sausage, and leaving off the sliced pimientos from the meal altogether.

Basics: Heated oil in skillet, added 1 package of Italian sausage - casings removed and cut into ½-inch slices - and 1 chopped yellow onion. Stirred about 4 or 5 minutes, added 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken broth, and brought to boil. Added 1 cup orzo pasta and boiled several minutes. Added 1 bunch of cut asparagus, covered, and cooked for approximately 10 minutes.

By the time the pasta was added and began cooking, it seemed as though there was no liquid left to boil, so we added the remainder of the can of chicken broth, which helped.

It was a tasty and rather easy-to-prepare meal. The combination of the asparagus, spicy sausage, and orzo was a pleasant one. The problems involved the liquid, as I noted, not enough of which was required in the recipe. In addition, that lack of enough liquid seemed to prompt the rice to stick to the pan, which created some burned bits on the bottom of the pan. Luckily, neither of us minded the burned parts and incorporated them into the pasta with ease.

With a little tweaking to the recipe, this was a quick and easy dinner that provided a filling meal and plenty of leftovers.


  1. Quick question: You describe it as "orzo," but then you refer to rice. It was actually pasta, right?

  2. Ahhh, my mistake. Yes, orzo is pasta. Just looks more like rice.

  3. I really enjoyed the crunchy bits, thanks for lunch!