Something between a pasta and a risotto Orzotto is a fab summertime comfort dish when it’s still raining in June!
With baby peas, fresh parsley and pesto it’s light, quick and simple to make and stores well for packed lunches or even picnics (if it ever stops pouring down).
I found this great supper in this month’s Delicious Magazine. It uses store cupboard items, although granted Orzo pasta is not a super common pasta but larger supermarkets have it, but not always in the pasta aisle. I found this brand at Asda and it was pretty good quality (not that I’m an Orzo expert btw).
To make it vegetarian just omit the pancetta and use veggy stock. You could also make a try it with dried porcini and chestnut mushrooms which would be equally delicious.
You will need:
A largish heavy bottomed pan
2tbsp Olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
I clove garlic (optional)
260g Orzo pasta
500ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
200g frozen Petit Pois
2 tbsp Classic pesto (either make your own see previous posts or shop bought)
Plenty of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion (and garlic if including) till soft add the pancetta and fry till it has taken on some colour.
- Stir in the orzo as you would rice in a risotto and coat with the oil in the pan. After a couple of minutes pour in the stock.
- Stir and simmer on a lowish heat, keep stirring occasionally. Test regularly until it is just tender (around 8 mins).
- Add the lemon juice and the frozen peas and simmer a little longer.
- Remove from the heat and stir through the pesto and most of the parsley.
- Serve with an extra sprinkle of parsley, parmesan shavings and a grind of black pepper.
This is a super easy standby chicken curry from one of Hugh FW’s books. Its a quick whizz of ingredients followed by a slow bake in the oven to create a deliciously rich and fragrant chicken curry. I’ve used chicken thighs as they carry the spice flavours really well and they’re also pretty cheap. The curry has creamy coconut milk which tempers the spices and makes it family friendly too.
You will need:
2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 heaped tsp coriander seeds
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground ginger or 1inch piece of fresh ginger roughly chopped
1 lge onion roughly chopped
3 lge cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 lge green chilli roughly chopped (remove seeds if you want to take down the heat)
3-4 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
1.2kg chicken boneless chicken thighs
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin coconut milk
Salt & pepper
Ok so the longest part of this is organising your spices but it’s definitely worth it.
- First grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder then roast them in a dry frying pan. Tip them out.
- Next quickly season then sear your chicken thighs in the frying pan. Lay the chicken in an ovenproof dish and lets move on to the sauce.
- Tip all your spices into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes.
- While this is happening put your onion, ginger (if using fresh), garlic and chilli in to a food processor and whizz away till they form a rough paste. If it looks a bit cludgy add a small amount of water.
- Next tip the onion mixture into the pan with the spices combine and cook for a few more minutes the mixture will start to look dryer and come together so it’s more like a traditional curry paste.
- Now give the tomatoes a whizz in the same food processor pour onto the spice paste and then pour in the coconut milk mix together. Season with a tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- You should now have a rich creamy sauce ready to pour over your chicken and get baking.
- Pop in the oven for about 45mins on 180C. Sprinkle on some fresh coriander leaves and serve with fluffy basmati.