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tastiness abounds

tastiness abounds

Last week was so crazy (hence the single post).  Weeks of going through closets and boxes culminated in a very successful garage sale.  Yippee!  To celebrate, I got everything I needed for a recipe that I was saving from Saveur.  Oooohhh I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone; snapper baked in foil with clams, lemon, smoked sausage, fennel, olives, orange zest, shallots, fingerling potatoes, white wine… sounds amazing, right?  It wasn’t.  It just wasn’t good.  DANGIT.  I hate it when that happens! 

So, I’ll share a faithful old stand-by instead.  I used to make this all the time when I first started cooking… somehow it has left the regular rotation.  We had it for lunch today and I was reminded of why we used to eat it so frequently!  This is a very elegant take on red beans and rice; it’s extremely comforting but also a little refined.  I love the soft orzo and the mixture of sweet peas, salty prosciutto and freshly grated parmesan.  It’s herby, elegant, delicious, and you can get it on the table in about thirty minutes.  Nice!  Today I added a little green salad on the side with a quick dressing made from lemon, dijon, marmalade and white wine vinegar, topped with toasted, slivered almonds.  It was the perfect compliment. 

I have big plans for the rest of the week – lots of things from scratch – thai red curry paste, worsteshire sauce, pickled okra and fresh ricotta ravioli (my first attempt at homemade pasta) – I’ll keep you posted!  In the meantime, let me know if you make this and what you think of it.  Oh, and if anyone has any tips on making pasta dough, I will be very grateful!

red beans and orzo

  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups orzo
  • heaping 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • heaping tsp of italian seasoning or herbes de provence
  • one can of red beans, rinsed and drained (use dried of you’re feeling extra special)
  • one ounce of proscuitto (de parma is best) cut into little strips (you can use ham if you must, or smoked turkey if you don’t eat pork)
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh sweat green peas
  • a good handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • a generous handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese for each serving
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. bring broth and water to boil in a medium saucepan
  2. add orzo, herbs, onion and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; reduce to a simmer and cook for twelve to fifteen minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender (do remember to stir every now and then)
  3. add beans and peas, and cook for a minute or two more to warm through
  4. stir in the prosciutto and serve with freshly grated parmesan on top – be comforted! 
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