Butternut Squash Orzo
If you’ve followed TKT for a while, you may know that my love and admiration for the butternut squash is bested only by my love and admiration for the sweet potato.
It honestly can’t be repeated enough. Winter squash is wonderfully diverse, and useful for just about any occasion from soup to smoothies. I like to roast up a couple varieties at a time, cut them into cubes, and freeze them for convenient access any time inspiration strikes. Acorn and delicata are two other really good varieties, in addition to the effervescent pumpkin, of course.
The idea for this recipe came from a successful attempt to make a risotto-like orzo a few weeks ago. For some reason, I had a hankering for risotto but all we had was orzo. Turns out, you can cook orzo in vegetable broth to a creamy consistency without all that stirring.
Last night, when I wanted something with orzo, I was thinking more along the lines of a soup, but ended up with a nice pasta dish. I started with orzo and veggie broth, and picked a few items from the crisper to complement them. As it turned out, I didn’t have quite enough broth for a soup and am glad! It was serendipity, you might say.
While I didn’t serve this to 2Chili, after having it myself, I’m confident this is something he would like. It’s going to be on the leftover rotation for him (mwa-ha-hah). This is super easy and fast, and provides a hearty and satisfying dinner. Served with a mixed greens salad, it was really perfect for a cold and wet night (which, let’s be honest, is every night in winter in the Northwest).
Butternut Squash Orzo
Time Required: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 Servings
- 1 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1.5 cups cubed and roasted (or otherwise cooked) butternut squash
- 1 cup green chard, center stalk removed and chopped or cut into ribbons (you could substitute any number of greens, including spinach, if you don’t have chard)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add orzo and vegetable broth to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil
- Boil for 12 minutes until pasta is cooked; While boiling, stir occasionally to prevent orzo from sticking to pan, removing pan from heat to stir
- After about 6 minutes of boiling, add zucchini and butternut squash cubes
- With about 2-3 minutes to go in boiling time, add the chopped green chard
- Once pasta is cooked, reduce heat to a simmer and occasionally stir until most of the vegetable broth is absorbed by the pasta, about 5-10 minutes; The squash should be mostly dissolved into the mixture with a few little chunks remaning
- While orzo is simmering, season with salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t add any)
- Remove from heat and serve immediately