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Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus

Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello
Hands-on time 33 mins
Total time 33 mins
Yield Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
Orzo takes the place of Arborio rice in Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus--a risotto-style dish that turns rich and creamy as it's stirred to doneness. Tender asparagus and fresh lemon zest add the welcome flavors of spring in this pasta dish.


  • 3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped red scallions or green onions
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pound green asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound white asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 401
  • fat 10.1 g
  • satfat 4.5 g
  • monofat 3.5 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrate 56.9 g
  • fiber 6.2 g
  • cholesterol 17 mg
  • iron 3.5 mg
  • sodium 580 mg
  • calcium 246 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm.

  2. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and oil; swirl to coat. Add scallions; cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add orzo; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in rind, juice, salt, and pepper. Add 1/2 cup stock to pasta mixture; cook 2 1/2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Reserve 1 cup stock. Add remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next (about 13 minutes). Stir in remaining 1 cup stock and asparagus; cook 7 minutes or until asparagus is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in half of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.