Orzo Pasta with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

Orzo pasta has a creamy, buttery flavor and is a fun food that can be mixed up several different ways. It can be a side dish or a meal by itself. Kids especially love orzo, because it is a pasta! I know you are thinking “Kids, spinach, no way!” Have them try the spinach, before you put into the pasta. My 5 year old son (age at the time this was written) said “Mom, it really doesn’t have a taste, but I bet it will taste great in there!” And he likes to decorate his with sliced cherry tomatoes and a chiffonade of basil, just like Mom and Dad!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 medium garlic gloves minced or crushed through a garlic press
1 cup of orzo pasta
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of chopped spinach
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup of fresh basil – chiffonade see technique chiffonade

Technique

Using a large pot add the oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the orzo pasta and chicken broth and cook according to package instructions or longer, if you prefer a softer texture. Normally cooking time will be about 30 minutes. Stir frequently to keep pasta from sticking. You may need to add more stock if cooking longer. No need to drain, very little liquid should remain. After pasta has been cooked remove from heat and add the chopped spinach and stir to wilt. Plate and add desired amount of parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes and a fresh chiffonade of basil if using.

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