Every time I go back home to visit my parents I like to cook for them and show them what I have been learning in culinary school. It’s only right that they get to taste my knowledge and I very much enjoy creating delicious dishes for them. One of their favorite dishes I prepared was this amazing side dish – orzo with sun-dried tomatoes, raisins, and parmesan. You will love it!
I found this recipe in the Food & Wine Magazine and made a couple substitutions and changes to fit my taste exactly. Let’s just say, it was a huge hit with my family. We ate this along with grilled filet mignon, but it will also pair perfectly with fish or chicken. Please give this recipe a try! Not only is it simple to make, it is light, satisfying, and packed with flavor.
If you are not familiar with orzo, it is a short-cut pasta shaped like a large grain of rice. I am not normally a huge fan of rice, so I find orzo to be a perfect substitution. What I love most about this recipe is that it can be prepared in no time.
For this recipe you will need:
12 oz. orzo (2 cups)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced lengthwise
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pasta water
Salt and Pepper to taste
First, boil the orzo in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the raisins with warm water and set aside until softened, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 of the pasta water before draining the orzo and rinsing under cold water. Drain the raisins.
Then, in a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion until brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with a small amount of salt and pepper – this helps the onions sweat and turn a beautiful color. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the juice of 1 lemon and the sun-dried tomatoes and allow the flavors to marry for an additional 3 minutes. Then, add the orzo, raisins, and pasta water and carefully mix together. Lastly, add the parmesan cheese and parsley. Toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
I sure hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all did. It sure is one to please!