Pea and Orzo Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2019) and taken from Skinny Pasta by Julia Azzarello.

Orzo tends to be a bit starchier than other tiny pastas, so makes a lovely risotto. It is also easier than using Arborio rice, as you don’t have to stir it so vigilantly. The addition of pea shoots at the end gives it a sweet crunch.

Serves : 4

1 tbsp olive oil; 1 shallot, finely chopped; 1 garlic clove, minced; 300g orzo; 100ml dry white wine; 400ml vegetable or chicken stock; 150g frozen peas; 50ml single cream; 50g ricotta salata or pecorino Romano, grated, plus extra for sprinkling; 10g fresh mint, chopped; 4 sprigs of tarragon, chopped; 40g pea shoots, to garnish


  1. Warm a large, deep pan, then add the oil and shallot and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Tip in the orzo and stir around for 1 minute more, then add the white wine. Once the wine has evaporated pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. The orzo should take about 9-10 minutes to cook, but keep an eye on it and stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. When it is creamy and cooked, stir in the peas, single cream, grated cheese and herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with some extra grated cheese and the pea shoots.

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