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Orzo Pasta

Asked by scruffyteddy. Answered on 17th May 2013

Full question

I saw Nigella do a recipe using orzo pasta, which looks like rice. I have searched everywhere and cannot find the recipe. It looked so tasty, I hope you can help.

Our answer

Orzo is a pasta shape which looks like large grains of rice. The name actually translates from the Italian word for barley, as the pieces of pasta are the shape of grains of barley. It is also sometimes called "risoni" or "semi de melone".

We suspect that the recipe you are referring to is Nigella's Pasta Risotto with Peas & Pancetta, from Nigellissima. Unfortunately the recipe is not available on-line at the moment, but it can be found on p43 of the book. The recipe istelf is slightly unusual for a pasta recipe as the orzo is cooked in a relatively small amount of water and the pasta is not drained after cooking. Instead the orzo oozes its starchiness into the sauce around the pasta.

Orzo is also a popular pasta for salads and it is a great shape for smaller children as they find it easy to eat.

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