Spring Orzo Risotto

It’s clear that I did not have arborio rice, despite my assumption. With the aid of spring vegetables like asparagus and peas, orzo pasta forms a delicious risotto. Add some freshly grated Grana Padano cheese and chopped parsley as garnish for serving.


  • 2 ½ cups vegetarian chicken-flavored broth
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • to taste, sea salt and freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 hard cheese rind
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • One bunch of fresh asparagus, thinly sliced into 2-inch pieces.
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced


Step 1.

Transfer the vegetable and vegetarian chicken broths into a medium saucepan and heat until they boil. Simmer on low, covered, until required.

Step 2.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter and oil together. Incorporate the onion, pepper flakes, and a small amount of sea salt and pepper. Add the zucchini and another sprinkle of sea salt and cook and stir for about 4 minutes. Cook for an additional three minutes while stirring. Add the dried orzo pasta and simmer for an additional five minutes, stirring often.

Step 3.

Add the wine and stir until the quick bubbling stops. Add the heated broth and heat it until it boils. Add the cheese rind and half a teaspoon of sea salt after lowering the heat a little. Simmer and stir for around ten minutes, or until the orzo has absorbed most of the liquid. Add the asparagus and frozen peas, and simmer for an additional five minutes, or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the orzo is cooked through. Take it off the heat.

Step 4.

Add the Parsley, Grana Padano cheese, lemon juice and zest, and as much cracked pepper as needed. Take off and throw away the cheese rind. As desired, taste and adjust the salt and pepper.

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