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
How to Make It
Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm.
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.