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This is a wonderful recipe which uses orzo instead of rice or large pasta noodles in this baked dish. It’s very simple to make, about 20 minutes on the stove then 20 minutes in the oven.
This is an Italian-style casserole thanks to the Italian ingredients and flavor from the small orzo pasta noodles to the Italian romano cheese and breadcrumbs.
Do you have to use Orzo pasta?
Although I use orzo in this recipe, it is not a key requirement. I like the orzo b/c it’s small, easy to cook and bake and provides a nice alternative to the more commonly used elbow macaroni or farfalle pasta.
What vegetables to use in the casserole?
I would think that another ingredient you could use is cut up asparagus, as that is a good vegetable that often is used with peas. However, it will add another dimension to the overall flavor, so it really depends on your tastes.
When I first made this recipe, my husband was a little skeptical of the dish, mainly due to the peas, but once he had some, he really liked it. I’m sure you will like it too! Enjoy the recipe and video where I show how easy it actually is to make!
Baked Orzo Italiano Recipe Details
- 16 oz orzo pasta Paste alimentari
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth brodo
- 1 onion chopped cipolla
- 8 oz chopped mushrooms fungo
- 1/3 cup peas piselli
- 1/4 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2 d'acqua
- 1/4 cup dry white wine latte
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese mix mozzarella
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil olio extra vergine di oliva
- 2 Tablespoons butter burro
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs pane grattugiato
- 2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese Romano formaggio
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring broth and/or water to a boil and cook the orzo. Do not drain. Make sure to stir to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom of pan.
In large sauce pan heat olive oil and butter until melted over medium heat.
Add onions and saute until tender about 4 minutes.
Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in the peas and wine and cook down until wine is 1/2 gone. About 5 minutes.
Pour the orzo and remaining liquid into the saucepan and mix well.
Add in the cheese and mix again.
Pour into a greased baking dish.
Mix the Romano cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle on top.
Bake uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
TIP #1: If you do not have mozzarella, use an Italian shredded cheese mix. It works well. I added graded Romano to it as well. The cheese itself will give it different flavors so feel free to experiment.
TIP #2: I used plain breadcrumbs but if you prefer seasoned use that. However, it will change the taste. Suggestions for side dishes: Italian Green Salad, Lima Beans