Roasted Vegetable Orzo Pasta
This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is one of my favourite dishes. Like this Fresh Tomato Pasta I have made it so many times it’s second nature now. What I love about it is all you have to do is prep the vegetables and leave them to bake in the oven, make the lemon garlic dressing, then boil the Orzo and mix everything together. I’ve made this recipe for a large crowd before which proved really easy due to the lack of hands on time and had many compliments. Orzo, if you’re not familiar with it, looks like rice in appearance but is really a form of short cut pasta and can be found at most supermarkets. It’s very versatile and great in pasta salads too.
We’ve been having some lovely weather this autumn. Luna, one of ProWare’s pooches, has been making the best of it soaking in the sunshine while I’ve been able to snap some photos outside using the fabulous light.
If you want to make this recipe vegan, omit the feta cheese and perhaps add in a handful or two of sliced olives. I often replace the feta in recipes with olives, especially when I have my vegan friends around for dinner. Olives have a very similar taste to feta due to the saltiness of them. The garlic lemon dressing in this recipe really amplifies the flavours of the vegetables and brings a light citrus flavour to the pasta.
Written by Corin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
For the roasted vegetables
- 1 medium aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes
- 3 red, yellow or orange peppers, quartered
- 4 shallots, quartered
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
For the Orzo
- 400g Orzo
- 400g Feta cheese, crumbled
- 10-15g fresh basil, chopped
- 10-15g fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
For the garlic lemon dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon and more to taste
- Generous pinch of chilli flakes
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Arrange the aubergine, peppers and shallots between the two roasting trays, drizzle over 3 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place in the oven for 40 minutes, stirring them after 20 minutes and then adding the halved tomatoes to each tray then add a little bit more olive oil and seasoning. Return to oven to roast for the remaining 20 minutes. At this point bring water to boil in a large saucepan and add Orzo with about 5 minutes left on roasting time, stirring immediately to avoid sticking. Cook according to package instructions.
- Check and remove the vegetables from the oven when they are cooked and the tomatoes are tender and slightly wrinkled.
- Dry toast the pine nuts in a mini pan or other small saucepan/frying pan until slightly browned, remove from heat and set to one side.
- Once the orzo is cooked, strain water through a fine sieve or colander. Now place the orzo into your large bowl, adding the garlic lemon dressing mixing well. Next add the roasted vegetables, Feta cheese, pine nuts then lastly the fresh herbs. Mix well and check the seasonings. Add more salt/pepper and red chilli flakes if desired. Serve straight away.