Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

Pinterest has introduced me to so many new awesome food blogs! It's great!  This week I stumbled upon Life as a Strawberry.  A lot of her recipes are more gourmet than my family is used to (goat cheese, fresh clams, etc) but many are also simple to put together and would still be appealing to a family. I want to try her 15 min. pizza dough, New England Clam Chowder and her root beer pulled pork sandwiches! Yum!

Anyway, I came across her blog because of her recipe for Parmesan Spinach Orzo.  It looked so good in the picture and definitely tasted as good as it looked.  You can check out her original recipe by clicking here or follow my adjustments below. I bulked up the sauce, switched out the green onion and added extra spinach and garlic.

This recipe was super fast to throw together.  I served it with grilled chicken and Parmesan crusted veggies. (see my veggie recipe here) So start to finish the whole meal came together with about 15 min. prep! Perfect! This recipe was a side and was the perfect amount for the 9 of us (5 adults and 4 kids).  With just a little leftover for lunch the next day.  Everyone loved it and the kids (and Alex) didn't even complain about the spinach ;) Also, just an FYI the leftovers were awesome the next day. Give it a try!

Spinach Parmesan Orzo
2 1/2 cups whole grain orzo
3 T. olive oil
1 tsp. onion powder
4 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
3 T. flour
2 1/2 cups milk (skim worked great!)
2 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (plus enough for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Meanwhile, combine olive oil, onion powder, and garlic in a large sauce pan.  (Large as in wide, not tall. Make sure the sauce pan is large enough that the sauce can spread out...this will help with thickening later). Cook until garlic is fragrant and golden brown.  Add flour and form a roux. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly, making sure to break up all lumps.  Once smooth, reduce heat and continue stirring until sauce is thickened (about 5 min.) Add chopped spinach and allow to wilt in sauce (about 1 minute). Once sauce is desired consistency add parmesan and salt and pepper.  Drain pasta and add to the sauce. Stir to coat.  Top with extra parmesan and serve immediately.