Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello Photo by: Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello

Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus

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.

Cooking Light MARCH 2013

  • Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)
  • Hands-on: 33 Minutes
  • Total: 33 Minutes


  • 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


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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 401
  • Fat: 10.1g
  • Saturated fat: 4.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrate: 56.9g
  • Fiber: 6.2g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg
  • Iron: 3.5mg
  • Sodium: 580mg
  • Calcium: 246mg

Go to Full Version of

Orzotto with Green and White Asparagus Recipe