Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fake-It Risotto

Tonight's dinner came about because they were out of arborio rice at Trader Joe's. I went to the store without much vision, but when I found some great looking mushrooms I decided some kind of risotto would be tasty. When I couldn't find arborio rice, though, I turned towards a pasta alternative: orzo.

I looked online and found perfect inspiration on epicurious. This Orzo Risotto gave the a good foundation, and I added the mushrooms and sausage to make a filling meal. While it was not as rich and creamy as real risotto, it still hit the spot and tasted light and fresh. I was proud, too, because I use other people's recipes so often and am not always happy with my own invented meals. So here you go... Mushroom and Sausage Orzo 'Risotto' by Erin

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
8 ounces mushrooms (I used crimini, oyster, and shiitake)rough chopped
fresh basil, chopped
s & p
flavored sausage (I used artichoke and garlic chicken/turkey sausage)
1 box (16 oz) orzo
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Fill pan with water and bring to a boil. Add orzo and boil until barely al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan and saute garlic for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and basil and saute for 5 minutes. Add sausage and heat through. Put mushroom and sausage mixture into a boil, keep warm.

Return orzo to saute pan, and add two cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the stock has absorbed into the orzo. Add in mushroom mix, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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