By Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely Orzo (Italian for barley) is rice-shaped pasta, and this summery mixture is like a quick pilaf. The kernels of corn mixed with a loose palette of colorful vegetables from your garden or farmers market make this appealing to the eye, for children and adults. Take this on a picnic, to serve with juicy sliced tomatoes and crusty wholegrain bread, with fried chicken on the side.
Makes 4 or more servings
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 cup diced zucchini ½ red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 large ear yellow corn, raw or cooked (about 1 cup), kernels sliced off and kept whole ½ cup chopped fresh basil + sprigs for garnish ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup raw orzo
In a sauté pan over moderate heat, sauté the onion until softened, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 3 minutes, stirring from time to time; do not let it brown. Continue with the red pepper and garlic. Stir in the corn kernels and take the pan off the heat; season with salt and pepper. Finally stir in the basil and cheese, adding more if you wish.
Meanwhile, in a big pot of boiling salted water, cook the orzo al dente. Drain well, stir into the vegetables and check for seasoning. Serve the orzo confetti garnished with basil sprigs.