Risotto is a delicious Italian dish made with rice and cheese. But since the secret to risotto is cooking it with chicken or vegetable stock to make it extra rich and creamy, you don’t need to use rice. Orzo works just as well.
Risotto is one of my favorite dishes because there are so many options when making it. You could add a protein or just use vegetables. You can use white wine or red wine. You could even use no wine at all. But the one thing I’d never considered changing was the main ingredient, the rice. I have started seeing more and more recipes for risotto though that use pasta instead, and I must admit, I’ve been intrigued. So when Food & Wine magazine suggested using orzo instead of the standard rice, I decided to give it a try. The end result was just as scrumptious as the classic rice version, but because I used orzo instead, the entire dish had a lighter texture that’s ideal for the summer months.
Orzo risotto with mushrooms and prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1-1/2 cups orzo
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 (3 ounce) package prosciutto, chopped
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine (like a chardonnay)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about four minutes.
- Add the orzo, rosemary, prosciutto and mushrooms and cook for one minute.
- Add the wine and stir until absorbed, about two minutes.
- Add the chicken broth a half-cup at a time and stir until absorbed and the orzo is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cheese, salt and pepper and serve.