Have you been seeing orzo pasta all over your TikTok FYP or being used in Insta Reels everywhere and not quite sure what this new trendy ingredient is? Well, you’re in luck! We’re here to explain and then give you a recipe that will have you firmly on the orzo train in no time.
What Is Orzo?
It may look similar to rice but it definitely isn’t (and it definitely isn’t gluten-free either). Orzo is a thin, oval rice-shaped pasta. It is traditionally made with semolina flour which is a type of flour made from Durum wheat, but it can also be made of whole grain.
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When you’re looking to buy orzo, as with any store-bought pasta, you want to find a quality brand that uses quality ingredients. We’re talking about a brand that uses semolina with higher protein content. Not only is it important to hit your #proteingoals, but this creates a sturdier pasta that is better to cook with and won’t leave you eating a mushy meal.
Now that you know what it is, it’s time to find out what it tastes like with this recipe!
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Orzo Pasta With Roasted Pumpkin, Red Onion, Feta & Almonds
Serves 4 as a main course and 6-8 as a side dish
This dish is as good served at room temperature as it is served warm. It can certainly be a vegetarian main course, but also as a side dish as part of a bigger spread, says Ilse van Der Merwe, the creator of this delish recipe and author of cookbook Simply Seasonal.
But hey, don’t just stop there! If you’re wanting to get ahead, you can meal prep this on Sunday and portion it out for lunches throughout the week. The great thing about it being vegetarian is that it will keep for longer than a meat dish.
Want to make it vegan? Lose the feta!
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±500g Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
3 Large red onions, sliced into slim wedges
±45ml Olive oil, plus extra salt and pepper, to taste
500g Orzo pasta (or rosmarino or risoni)
60–125ml Flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
2–3 Rounds feta cheese, crumbled
Small bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped (or basil or dill)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, to taste
Preheat the oven to 220°C. On a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, spread out the pumpkin and red onions, drizzle evenly with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes until tender and golden brown.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for 7 minutes, then drain. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pasta and stir to coat, then transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl, adding the roasted pumpkin and onions.
Add the parsley, mint, feta and a squeeze of lemon juice, then season all over with salt and pepper and stir gently to mix well. Top with the toasted almonds and serve warm or at room temperature. More