Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

One of my favorite Greek recipes. Opa!

I love the flavor of this dish because it’s so tangy and fresh. It offers the intensity of the sun-dried tomatoes, the tartness of the olives, the creaminess of the feta, and the wonderful crunch you get with the pine nuts. (I’m always a sucker for that little bit of crunch!) This recipe is colorful, refreshing, and a good dish for entertaining because it’s easy to make in large quantities.

Being Greek, I grew up with this dish. It’s a nice, simple recipe that might make you want to throw a plate on the ground and get excited. Opa! One confession is that this one is not really kid-friendly in my house because my kids haven’t yet fallen in love with Kalamata olives like I have. Haven’t tried Kalamata? You just gotta!

A few words about orzo pasta

This is a good option for when you are in a hurry because orzo can be cooked in about half the time of rice. It’s so versatile and it’s great even with just a little salt and butter, then of course you can dress it up, like we are doing with this dish. I love how this recipe can be a side dish or your main dish. It can also be vegetarian or you can add some protein to it. Orzo helps me be a free thinker!

An orzo tip: For ideal flavor and texture, you should serve orzo immediately or it will stick together and become one big clump in a matter of minutes. To prevent this, drizzle a little oil or butter on it, keep it warm, and stir it every now and then.

Watch the video (see ingredients and directions below)

Mediterranean Orzo Pasta

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12-oz dried orzo pasta
  • 1 c pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 small (10-oz) jar sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 c Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 c feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 c fresh basil, sliced into chiffonade
  • 1 lemon to zest

As always

  • Olive oil, about 1/4 c
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Cook orzo according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast pine nuts until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove pine nuts and set aside.
  • In the same skillet used to toast pine nuts, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute; add sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives.
  • Add cooked orzo to the skillet; mix well.
  • Add toasted pine nuts, feta, salt, pepper and basil; mix well again.
  • Zest with lemon and serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve. For a true Greek experience, shout “Opa!” or throw a plate on the ground!

Deliciously simple. Enjoy!

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