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In Italian, orzo means "barley". It's a small, rice shaped pasta typically made from semolina. Acini de pepe is similarly shaped but smaller in size.
Orzo is commonly found in soups or salads but it's grown in popularity and uses over the last few years. Now you even see it used more like rice such as in risotto or pilafs.
Like other pastas, orzo is a blank canvas to which you can add any myriad of flavors and other ingredients. Orzo with chicken is very popular as is shrimp and orzo.
Since it's a tiny pasta it does cook quickly. If being used in a casserole dish where the mixture will be baked further, you will want to only cook the pasta about 2/3rds of the way since it will continue cooking in the oven.
Spinach Parmesan Orzo
photo: CDKitchen Made with black pepper, orzo pasta, salt, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, spinach stovetop Orzo With Roasted Vegetables
photo: oneironaut Made with garlic, orzo, lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper oven, stovetop Asiago Garlic Orzo Pilaf
photo: CDKitchen Made with chicken broth, orzo pasta, garlic, Asiago cheese, salt, black pepper stovetop Baked Orzo With Fontina
photo: CDKitchen Made with chicken broth, orzo pasta, butter, onion, mushrooms, marsala wine, heavy cream, fontina cheese, mozzarella cheese, peas oven, stovetop Orzo And Tomato Salad With Feta Cheese photo: CDKitchen Made with salt and pepper, lemon juice, orzo pasta, tomato, pitted green olives, feta cheese, parsley, fresh chopped dill, olive oil stovetop Tropical Orzo, Rice And Spinach photo: UltimateCook Made with baby spinach, pine nuts, kosher salt, orzo, olive oil, basmati or arborio rice, mango nectar, beef stock, balsamic vinegar, water stovetop Lemon Orzo with Herbs Made with parsley, chicken broth, lemons, orzo pasta, olive oil, black pepper, salt, dill stovetop Chicken Orzo Made with dried oregano, orzo, olive oil, boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, prosciutto, onion, garlic, white wine, diced tomatoes, cilantro stovetop
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Parmesan Orzo Made with black pepper, orzo pasta, butter, Parmesan cheese stovetop Orzo And Portobello Mushrooms Made with salt and crushed red pepper, portabello mushrooms, orzo, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers, thyme, oregano, marjoram, white wine stovetop Orzo With Veggies Made with eggplant, onion, orzo pasta, vegetable stock, zucchini, carrot stovetop