Orzo is the Italian word for barley; however, orzo is not made from barley at all, but rather from semolina, which is a course ground flour made from durum wheat. With its shape reminiscent of slivered almonds, orzo cooks up in about half the time of rice, making it a speedy standby to have on hand to add heartiness to meals.
Just bring 3 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add 8 ounces ( 1 1/2 cups) dried orzo and boil about 10 minutes until it has a firm, chewy texture. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking together. Drain orzo in colander and serve immediately.
Rinse orzo only if it will be baked or served cold in a salad. Otherwise, do not rinse as rinsing removes a light coating of starch that helps sauces and seasonings cling to the pasta.
For the best texture and flavor serve orzo immediately after cooking. If your orzo gets done before the rest of the meal, you can keep it warm by returning the cooked drained pasta to the warm cooking pan. Stir in a little butter or olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Cover the pasta with a lid and let it stand no more than 14 minutes.
“Work With What You Got!”
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