When I saw Hovkonditorn's recipe for Vegetable Risoni (orzo) Bake it immediately went on my short list of recipes to try. I loved her combination of vegetables and pasta and white wine and pesto. What a perfect side dish! Making one of Katarina's recipes can be tricky, though. She posts English translations of each recipe, but the measurements are still in metric. I found some conversion charts online, but they were only half-way helpful, and I had to do some guesstimating. In the end I was really happy with how it turned out and it is definitely something I will make often.
In addition to my measurement guesstimating, I made a couple changes like changing out her cherry tomatoes for canned tomatoes, and increasing the pesto. Because pesto is awesome. Also, I baked the orzo in the oven as she instructed, but I think I won't next time for a few reasons: it dirtied another dish, it took longer to get the orzo onto people's plates, and it was already completely cooked, so the oven time was only to melt the Parmesan cheese on the top. In the future I will either mix the Parmesan directly into the orzo or serve it on top. Or both. Probably both.
Orzo with Vegetables & Parmesan Cheese
1 small onion, 1/4-inch diced
1 medium sweet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and 1/2-inch cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup water
2 cups orzo
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and 1/4-inch sliced
3-4 tablespoons pesto
1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1. In a medium pot, combine the onion, sweet potato, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, white wine and water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover partially, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the orzo and zucchini. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, or until the orzo and sweet potatoes are tender, and the liquid is absorbed. Let sit (covered) 5 minutes.
3. Gently stir in the pesto and Parmesan cheese. Serve with extra Parmesan if you want.
(Or, after step 2 you can stir in the pesto, transfer the orzo and vegetables to a 9x13 baking dish, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and bake at 425 for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted)
Serves 6-8 as a side dish.