Orzo + Pesto = Yummy CasserolePosted: August 26, 2012
I grew up in a family (and an era) when pasta pretty much meant spaghetti. My best friend across the street was Italian and her family was “exotic” because they had lasagne and jumbo shells and manicotti. I tried every chance I could to eat at their house for dinner when this wonderfulness was being served.
So it is no surprise that I was, oh, in my 50s when I learned about orzo — and immediately fell in love, determined to find as many recipes as I could to use this delightful mini-pasta. This casserole is a winner in my book. I’ve served it as a main dish and as a side. Your choice. Either way works.
Pesto and Orzo Casserole
1 pound orzo
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 peppers of your choice, cored and diced
1 onion, diced
2/3 cup pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease baking pan or casserole dish
Boil 4 cups of salted water and toss in the orzo. Cook for about 7 minutes until al dente. Drain and place in a bowl.
While the orzo is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, onion and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add to the orzo in the bowl.
Stir in the pesto, mozzarella, and salt and pepper. Spread in your baking dish. Sprinkle with feta. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is gooey.