Saturday, 2 June 2012

cheesy orzo and roasted asparagus

Tonight's meal was pretty simple, but a few favourites of my 9 year old.  First up was the asparagus. Luke loves asparagus with a passion.  He also discovered he likes balsamic vinegar recently at an Italian market. I mixed up a tablespoon of balsamic and olive oil together with one clove of finely grated garlic and seasoned, poured this over prepared raw asparagus and roasted in the oven at gas mark5 while I prepared the pasta. 

The pasta in our house is simply called cheesy pasta and beats mac and cheese any day for us. I make it with Orzo pasta ( looks like large grains of rice) Or broken spaghetti or pasta shapes broken up.  Simple and fairly quick. melt a knob of butter in a pan and add your pasta, and stir often, I used 250 grams. The pasta wants to end up quite toasted and about half of it is browned.
You can go a little darker than the picture above.  For this amount I added 600 ml of vegetable stock, chicken stock is better but I had a vegetarian to feed. Stirring let it come to the boil and then let simmer stirring occasionally.  The pasta wants to end up absorbing most of the stock. make sure it does not catch on bottom of pan and add more boiling water if needed.  When tender but slightly al dente remove from the heat and stir in grated cheese, Parmesan if you have it but cheddar works just as well.  Chopped parsley is great.  My boys have an aversion to 'green bits' though ;o/

For us meat eater I chopped up a few slices of back bacon and fried until crisp and added to the pasta after I had served up the vegetarian portion.  Added some cucumber and sliced tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil and a few grinds of pepper and a simple meal was ready.

The asparagus was ready at around 13-15 minute mark and I took out of the oven just before I dished everything up.