Zucchini and Parmesan Orzo

A perfect side dish combining orzo pasta, zucchini and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.Zucchini-and-Parmesan-Orzo-Recipe-1

And I’m back!!! I know I have been M.I.A. but it’s been a crazy start to the year. I recently started an online Masters program to obtain my certificate as Educational Supervisor and have just received a student teacher in class that I been working with and mentoring these past few weeks. It’s been a little nuts, but now that I have a better hold on my new responsibilities, I’m back and better than ever. I do have some great recipes to share with you, I just hope I get the lighting during the day to take decent pictures. That’s another thing, here in the Mid-Atlantic we have been getting snow, snow and more snow. Not a whole lot of sun to take great pictures and since one my New Year’s Resolutions was to improve my photography, I did not want to skimp.

Anyway, today I present to you a fabulous side dish, Zucchini and Parmesan Orzo. I recently have discovered orzo and pairing it with all sorts of vegetables makes a great side to any meal. This was delicious and would even be a great summer pasta salad eaten room temperature. Or maybe make it a meal by adding some shrimp or chicken. So many possibilities, I encourage you to play and let me know what you come up with. This recipe comes together rather quick and is even better leftover. And I love the pasta/veggie combo, this is the only side you need. So enjoy and, don’t forget, Make the first bite count!

Zucchini-and-Parmesan-Orzo-Recipe-2

Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
1 cup orzo
1 medium zucchini
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When bubbling, season the water with salt and then add the orzo. Cook according to the box for Al Dente. Before draining reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain and return to the orzo to the pot.

2. While the orzo is cooking, prepare the zucchini. Cut off each end. Slice in half, lengthwise, and then cut each piece in half again lengthwise. Chop the zucchini into about 1/4 inch pieces.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized pan. Once the oil is hot, add the zucchini and season with salt, pepper and the garlic powder. Stir to evenly distribute and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. The zucchini should be starting to soften but not getting soggy. Add the reserved pasta water and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the cooked zucchini, butter, and parmesan cheese to the orzo. Stir to combine until the butter and cheese have melted. Serve and enjoy.

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