Monday, 14 March 2016


I very rarely have complete cooking disasters but I did have one on Mother's Day - I tried to cook a Greek style slow cooked roast lamb. It was meant to be in the oven for 4 hours but was burnt to a crisp within 60 minutes!!! Consequently I now have lots of leftover orzo pasta to use up so I have been searching the Internet for recipes. Here is a Nigella one I found - there is enough here for 2 very large portions or three medium size ones and the recipe took around 20 minutes.

Ingredients for 2-3 people:

30ml / 2 tbsp of garlic oil (I didn't have garlic oil so I used olive oil and a couple of sliced cloves of garlic)
150g pancetta cubes
150g frozen petits pois
250g orzo pasta
625ml boiling water (you made need more)
1 tbsp of soft unsalted butter
50g grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat - the pan needs to be big enough to fit all the ingredients in later. Add the pancetta and stir regularly until it becomes crisp and bronzed. I cooked it for 4 minutes and then added a couple of sliced cloves of garlic for a two more minutes.

Add the frozen peas and stir for a minute until the frozen look leaves them. Then add the pasta and mix together.

Pour in the boiling water, I originally put in 625ml which is around 2 1/2 cups. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for ten minutes stirring regularly to stop it sticking to the bottom. Mine did stick so I added some more water after about 5 minutes.

When it is ready the water should be absorbed, then mix in the butter and Parmesan and season to taste. Even though the pancetta is salty, I still needed some extra salt. Serve immediately with a further sprinkling of cheese.

I have never cooked with orzo pasta before but I have to say this worked really well - it is just like risotto but a lot quicker and easier as you aren't constantly stirring and adding stock. Arabella enjoyed  it, it is very child friendly to be honest and I would happily cook this for a playdate rather than the usual pesto pasta. I am already looking forward to my leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

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