Thursday, February 14, 2008

Orzo Carbonara with Bacon & Thyme


You know, orzo is a rice-shaped pasta. Once it plumps up, it grows a bit in size, but still looks like large, very large, grains of rice. And carbonara is a rich, cream-laden Italian preparation of pasta with bacon as the primary flavor. Yet, risotto is a creamy rice preparation too, that can vary with the additions. So, Phillis Carey combined all of these culinary variations and created a great risotto-like pasta side dish. Since I like bacon a whole heck of a lot, and thyme is my most favorite-est herb, this satisfies like comfort food.

The preparation is fairly simple, although you do have to heat up the broth and be near the range when you're making this. But you don't have to stir for 30-45 minutes like you do with risotto. It comes together in about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes: you may need to add more liquid to this - depends on how long it takes to cook the orzo. If you've run out of broth, just add water. This wants to be on the wet side - it should not be stiff when served, but creamy, soft. Once you add the cream and bring it to a simmer, have everything ready because you want to serve this immediately. I mean immediately.

Orzo Carbonara with Bacon & Thyme
Recipe By: Phillis Carey, cookbook author & instructor
Serving Size : 6
4 slices thick-sliced bacon -- 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound orzo
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth -- heated to a simmer
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesano-Reggiano Cheese -- freshly grated
1 teaspoon fresh thyme -- chopped
1. Cook bacon in heavy saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towels and drain.
2. Pour off all but 1 T. of drippings from pan. Add butter and melt. Add orzo and toss in butter. Add 3 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, adding more broth as needed to keep orzo from sticking to bottom the pan. Cook orzo until just tender and broth is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Mix in cheese, bacon and thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 426 Calories; 15g Fat (29.5% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 58g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 178mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat.
Printer-friendly recipe, click title at top.

1 comment:

Toffeeapple said...

Oh, this would be heaven for me, risotto is my ultimate comfort food but I prefer pasta to rice so this would be perfect!