Butternut Squash and Sage Orzo

Orzo is very similar risotto. I got this recipe from Epicurious.com one of those days that I got home without any idea about what to cook. The results were amazing. Risotto remains a pending task for me, but I think this dish is a good start for my plans.

Orzo is a form of pasta in the shape of a grain of rice, a little bit smaller that a pea but bigger that a lentil. It is usually used on soups.

Since I didn’t have any fresh sage, I used it in powder form, because this recipe was a last minute idea. The results were great, so I think it will be much better if you use it fresh. Also, since I wanted to prepare a vegetarian dish, I substituted the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 2-pound butternut squash
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Directions

Peel the butternut squash and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces, getting rid of the seeds. It should make about 4 cups.

Chop the onion, and mince the garlic.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add butternut squash and stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and wine. Simmer until squash is almost tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 3 1/2 cups broth to boil in heavy saucepan. Add orzo. Boil until tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes.

Transfer orzo to large bowl. Stir in butternut squash mixture, then Parmesan and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

Tips

If you like pasta al dente, drain orzo if necessary after cooking for 9 minutes. If you prefer it to be tender, cook it for a couple of more minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed.

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