January 23, 2009

Giada's Orzo with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parmesan

I originally had a different dinner planned for tonight, but I had to scrap that idea at the last moment. My son's cough was really not getting any better, so I got him into his doctor's office for a late afternoon appointment. Since it was already Friday afternoon, I decided I did not want to wait around all weekend to see if he got better or worse. Also, we had heard that a friend of my son's has pneumonia, so I definitely did not want to take any chances. Luckily, the office worked us in within the hour. It turns out my little guy just has a sinus infection...thankfully, nothing to serious. Whew!!!
Needless to say, this whole little scenario threw a monkey wrench in my dinner plans. With running out to the Pediatrician, and then on to the pharmacy, I did not have time to make the dinner I was planning. I had to pull a faster, easier, dinner out of my hat. I remembered seeing Giada demonstrate this dish on a re-run of Everyday Italian. She made it as a side dish, but I cataloged it as a quick vegetarian meal idea.

I made a lot of changes to accommodate what I had on hand. Also, I wanted to make this dish a little more substantial, since this was the only thing we were having for dinner. I adapted Giada's original recipe by changing the quantities and some of the ingredients, based on what I used for our meal (i.e. this is not her original recipe).

Giada's Orzo with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parmesan

2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (plus more to drizzle on top for finishing)
1 small onion, finely diced
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced in half or quarters (depending on size)
3 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
2 cups of orzo
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and mushrooms. Sauté until golden brown; add the garlic and stir frequently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, season with salt to taste, and set aside.

Cook pasta per instructions then drain and place back in the pot. Add the peas, mushroom mixture, Parmesan, basil, salt and pepper to taste; mix thoroughly. Finish by drizzling a little more olive oil over the top. Serve and enjoy!

The Result:
This was so good. I think the whole thing came together in less than 20 minutes! It was unbelievably fast. This dish was so flavorful, without being heavy or complicated. I guess the best way to describe it would be clean or fresh. It reminded me of a take on Pasta Primavera...simple and delicious. This is a great meal to throw together in a pinch. I am really glad that I had to switch things up tonight, otherwise I am not sure when I would have gotten around to making this dish. This is definitely going to be a go-to dinner for us!!! It was awesome!!! Giada rocks!

1 comment:

Mushrooms Canada said...

What a great recipe. I love the contrasting colours of the dish in your photo. I am sure that this recipe has a great Umami factor; with the combination of Parmesan and fresh mushrooms.
- Brittany