A creamy side dish or simple vegetarian main, made in under 20 minutes. Orzo with Zucchini is summer comfort food. DELICIOUS, EASY, QUICK.
Summer time is usually all about relaxing, easy going, enjoying the sun, or may be even escaping from the blistering rays. Holidays, doing nothing, being outside with friends and family. This year is different; we all have adjusted our lives in some shape or form to deal with this horrible pandemic.
Easy recipes are welcome. Am I right? But…… they need to be full of flavor and quick to make.
To make this Orzo with Zucchini recipe, I don’t think you need more than 20 minutes. This is how you go about making it:
- Cook the orzo
- Cook the grated zucchini and chopped onion in a skillet.
- Mix, add cream, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper
- Done !
This pasta dish can easily be served as a side dish or a warm lunch. It is light, only 1/4 cup of cream (2 tablespoons per person).
For this recipe, I prefer to cook the orzo separately from the onion-zucchini mixture because the cooking time of the orzo is longer than the time to prepare the zucchini. If you cook them together, you cook the zucchini and onions too long and they may lose flavor and crunchiness.
Start with by boiling water and add the orzo. The cooking time will be around 10 minutes (see the package of the brand you use). While the water comes to a boil and the orzo cooks, you can chop the onion, grate the zucchini, and cook those two in a skillet. Both pans will be ready about the same time. Then mix them together and add the cream, grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste YOU. ARE. DONE.
I cook the onion further than translucent, I cook them until brown and caramelized – that adds flavor. I grated the zucchini with skin-on, that add crunch, flavor and color and I used colored orzo for the color again.
Orzo with Zucchini
- 1/2 onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 zucchini
- 4 ounces orzo
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper
- Bring water and salt to a boil and add the orzo. Cooking time according to packaging (somewhere between 8-10 minutes).
- Chop 1/2 onion and grate the zucchini (skin-on).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the onion, cook until brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and cook a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper.
- Add the cream and the Parmesan cheese and mix.
- Drain the pasta and keep 1/2 cup of pasta water. In case you want to make the dish a little thinner.
- Add the orzo to the onion-zucchini mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the Orzo with zucchini over 2 bowls, sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and serve.