Orzo with Sausage, Bell Peppers & Tomatoes

This is one of my many favorite recipes from Giada. I’ve changed things up a bit and added a few more ingredients as I love adding a variety of vegetables to pasta dishes when it makes sense. Before I saw her making this, I never really knew what to do with Orzo. Never tried orzo? If you like rice and pasta, you will love ORZO. Orzo is pasta in the shape of long grain rice. Genius.

This is a great recipe when you have to make pasta for a dinner party or large group of people. I hope you enjoy!

Orzo with Sausage, Bell Peppers & Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 ounces (2 links) mild Italian turkey sausage (casings removed; if preferred)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup black olives; chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (whatever you have, cremini or white, whatever)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional; if you want a little kick)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta salata cheese, crumbled (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using tongs, place the bell peppers over a gas flame. Cook, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Alternatively, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 5 to 8 minutes, until charred.)
  2. Place the charred peppers in a medium bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the peppers to steam for 20 minutes. Under running water, peel away the charred skin from the peppers.
  3. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, water, and kosher salt to a boil over high heat.
  5. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. While the pasta is cooking: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, all of your veggies and red pepper flakes, if using, and cook until heated through, about 2-4 minutes.
  8. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  9. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  10. Toss well to combine all ingredients, adding reserved cooking liquid, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Top with the ricotta salata (optional) and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Serve!
I did not serve with the ricotta salata.

Beautiful Orzo; I’ve also added black olives for additional flavor and color!

I served my Orzo with pork tenderloin and asparagus.

 

For another Orzo recipe from Giada and the Cooking Channel, click here.

 

 

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