Monday, September 9, 2013

Creamy Orzo with Ham & Peas

This is the perfect recipe when you want something different from your regular weeknight meal. It is definitely a "kid-pleaser" type of dinner.  So quick to throw together and the flavors combine to make the yummiest comfort food.  This recipe also makes a large amount so we have plenty leftover. I've reheated this the following day as a nice side dish to our meal. 

Creamy Orzo with Ham & Peas

1 lb orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb. smoked ham, cubed (I used 1 prepackaged cubed ham)
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste

Bring a heavy large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 8 minutes....and then drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the ham and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and peas.  Add the orzo and toss to coat. Add the Parmesan cheese to the pasta mixture and combine. Season the orzo with salt & pepper and serve. 

This is a great recipe to alter.....simply replace the ham with shredded rotisserie chicken. Swap the peas with a different veggie such as broccoli, carrots, mixed veggies, etc. If you don't have any half-and-half, just mix together milk and 1 1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch before adding it to the orzo.  You can also enhance the flavor by adding chicken bouillon to the boiling water while cooking the orzo.  I've also left out the peas and ham and prepared this dish as a side to a rotisserie chicken or a crockpot roast.  Always nice to have lots of options!! I hope your family enjoys this dish too!


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