Discover the magic of mushrooms in this comforting pasta dish

A simple dinner with all the creamy satisfaction of a risotto, without the stirring

Mushroom orzotto

Mushroom orzotto

 

I was going to make a risotto this week, but I just love how you can achieve the same creamy sauce effect but still have great texture when cooking with orzo.

There’s no need to stand over a pot stirring for 20 minutes as you would with rice. Orzo is a little rice-shaped pasta that is pure comfort food, easy to cook and eat. It’s great in soups or salads too. I first came across it many years ago in Greece where it was served with beef stifado. It’s so nice served with stews or casseroles. It’s very quick to cook and so handy to have a bag in the cupboard. 

I have used thick and creamy Greek yogurt before for this dish, adding it at the last minute, instead of cream, to avoid curdling. It works well and is slightly healthier. I love the sweet aniseed flavour from sambuca but white wine, or even brandy, is an ideal alternative.

I often use barley to make this dish too. Barley has a slightly nutty texture but is really tasty and something I love to cook with during autumn and winter, adding bite to soups and body to stews.

I’ve used regular chestnut mushrooms here, but this could be made even nicer with some speciality mushrooms. There are so many available now in most supermarkets, as well as from producers such as Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms that grow gourmet mushrooms and forage for wild mushrooms.

As we head into the darker months it’s good to include as many foods rich in vitamin D as we can in our diet. Mushrooms, oily fish, egg yolks, red meat and cheese are good sources. Mushrooms naturally absorb vitamin D, and retain it, when exposed to UV rays. You can leave your mushrooms on a windowsill when the sun is at its strongest at 10-3 pm for 15-20 minutes before storing them. 

I’ve added plenty of parsley to this dish too, treating it almost like a leafy green. You could also stir through a few handfuls of spinach and it would wilt down, or  cubed roast butternut squash. 

Mushroom orzotto

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.