Tomato and Basil Orzo with Ricotta

Tomato Basil Orzo

There is one indulgence that I gladly allow myself. I subscribe to Donna Hay magazine. It costs me a small fortune to get it delivered here in the United States, but after missing months and months of issues because my local bookstore only gets eight copies, and you have to be there within a few days of them being delivered. And the bookstore doesn’t even know ahead of time when they are going to be delivered. And it’s not the bookstore close to me, it’s the one across town. Okay, have I pleaded my case long enough?? And I don’t care, because I love and adore Donna Hay’s magazine. It makes me happy just seeing it waiting for me in my mailbox. I make sure to set aside uninterrupted time to sit on my back porch, maybe with a cup of tea, and savor every glorious picture and recipe in it.

Tomato Basil Orzo

The only thing that I have to get used to are the seasons. She is showcasing light, fresh, springy goodness, right in the middle of our winter. In the hot, dog days of our summer, her magazine is loaded with warm stews and heavenly braises. No problem, I just go to my shelf and pull out an appropriate month. Like this recipe for example. Basil and tomatoes, two words that spell summer to all. For this I pulled out issue #41, Oct/Nov 2008.

This was completely delightful. It’s sort of like a risotto, only with less work. The fresh basil and tomatoes sing together and the ricotta adds a creamy mildness to it all. The only thing I changed was after the 15 minutes of cooking, mine was still a little too soupy, so I brought it up to high for about 5 minutes and let a little of the liquid boil off. Also I had some leftover chicken (from Spatchcocking – hee, hee), so I added that. It was a perfect one pot meal.

Tomato and Basil Orzo with Ricotta
Serves 4

3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cherry tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups orzo
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh ricotta
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
finely grated parmesan for serving

Heat the butter in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Add the orzo and the stock and cook for 15 minutes (see note above). Stir through the basil, ricotta, and salt and pepper. Top with the parmesan and serve.

This will be my entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.

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Comments

  1. says

    I love all of the summer flavors in this! Kind of like a caprese pasta but with ricotta instead of mozzarella…delicious.

    I allow myself to buy the Rachael Ray magazine every once in a while but every time I go grocery shopping I stare with lust at Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Food and Wine. It’s a problem. One of these days I’m going to break.

  2. says

    Wow. Hooray for the one-pot meal!

    You’ve not only sold me on this pasta dish, but I think I need a subscription to the magazine, too!

  3. says

    This looks perfect for a summer meal. I bet it would be good with quinoa (protein rich) instead of orzo, making it a bit more heart-healthy!

  4. says

    I do love orzo. It is a terrific and very versatile pasta.

    I have gotten bored with all of my cookign magazines, so I have let all the subscriptions lapse and I’m a few issues away of not getting any more at all. Then I found out that my niece’s school fundraiser this year is magazine subscription sales. Well HEY, you know, I have to suppport my niece….what a perfect excuse to get a new magazine!

  5. says

    This looks delicious. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers who are fans of that magazine, but I’ve never seen it at any of the bookstores around here. The recipes people have done – like this one – from it seem pretty exciting, though.

  6. says

    MMmmm … I would eat this year round! I’m afraid to look at the Donna Hay magazine for fear that my cookbook addiction would cross over to magazines as well. I’ll depend upon you for her recipes! :-)

  7. says

    Ah, our weekly spatchcocking reminder! this looks good. Usually I just add orzo to rice for a rice-a-roni sort of thing.

  8. says

    You’re killin’ me Pam ~ everything you make… I WANT! *grin*

    Oh how I love Donna Hay’s books (and the occasional mag if I can get my hands on it.) I can’t think of a recipe of hers that I’ve ever been disappointed with ~ and this one looks like no exception. Thanks for showing us the way; I must make this soon. xo

  9. says

    Pam, you know how much I love Donna’s recipes and that is a “luxury” I gladly give myself – the magazine subscription is really expensive (our currency here is about half the dollar amount), but I don’t care – I’ll even stop myself from buying other stuff – like shoes – to have my DH collection complete. :D

    As for the seasons, they mag works perfectly for me, since we’re in the winter here. This dish would go really well, though. :D

  10. says

    That looks delish! I wish we had a store that sold DH here – it is an even larger fortune to get her in Canada. I get all the rest of the mags combined for less than hers is here. (Tired of me complaining about how expensive things are in Canada yet? ;-)

  11. says

    This looks so FRESH!!!!I love orzo..and basil and tomatoes.. we had puttanesca tonight:) It looks a bit the same..from far:)Quite far.. same colors:)

    I just GLANCED at the Monster Of Florence to the right!

    Last November..one of our stays was in Assisi..just outside of Assisi..At a Villa.. we were the only guests.. even the owners were not there.. in an olive grove..I read your book on the way home on the plane..Grateful I had not read it on the way there! Remember?:)

    Going to check your list:)

  12. says

    I like DH’s mag as well. i actualy came around to her general store last weekend. Quite nice!

    This recipe is lovely, and I am sure it’s tasty!

  13. says

    All those tomatoes and basil… so fresh and summery. This time of year, one-pot meals are often the fastest and easiest way to go. And I love the way you work around the flip of seasons by using another issue.

  14. says

    “Almost like risotto, but less work.” I’m sold!! I love risotto, but orzo is quite yummy, too. Especially with tomatoes. Gorgeous photo!

  15. says

    I never thought I would say this but starting to run out of ideas for tomatoes. What started off as going to be a bad tomato season has turned into colander full of tomatoes getting shoveled in daily.

    Nicely done and love the flavors!

  16. says

    Oh yum! You’re on a roll with the drool-inducing recipes lately!

    Never even seen a Donna Hay magazine but now I’m very curious.

  17. says

    This is definitely delightful! It caught my attention immediately! I love all of these amazing flavors together!

    I’ve not heard of this magazine. I will have to look it up!

  18. says

    I got so caught up reading about magazines in the comments, I forgot what the recipe was.

    I am back to reality. I love the combination of tomato, basil and ricotta. I wonder if I would use pasta instead of orzo. Just a thought.

  19. says

    I just made this and it was good, though I think served more than four! I’ve never used orzo before but this was a treat and I will again. I ended up using dried basil instead of fresh and that worked out fine as well.

  20. Anonymous says

    found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later