Saturday, October 02, 2010

Creamy Orzo with Ham and Peas

The Menu:
Creamy Orzo with Ham and Peas

The Original Recipe:
I found this on my favorite website. This is very creamy and oh so yummy. I don't know what is with these simple recipes being so good! I didn't change to much. I will add my notes to the end instead of writing it out again. This for sure is a keeper to make again. The kids loved it as well.

Creamy Orzo with Ham and Peas

Katie (Katiedid) from Recipezaar

1 lb orzo pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 lb smoked ham, cubed

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender,about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the ham and cook until they are heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half and peas. Add the orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the Parmesan to the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Stir in some reserved cooking liquid until pasta is desired consistency. Season the orzo with salt and pepper, and serve.

Katie's Notes: Variations and substitutions: Use tri-color orzo, 1/2 small onion for the shallot, extra garlic, fat-free half-and-half, chicken (rotisserie, roasted, breasts, etc) or pork loin, corn, carrots, broccoli, mixed veggies, extra peas, extra cheese.

Rachel's Notes: I didn't have any half and half, so I used 2% milk and added 1 1/2 tbls. of cornstartch to the milk before adding it to the mixture. I also added in some fresh thyme and rosemarry from the garden.

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