Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Orzo with Ancient Sweet Peppers and Chayote

This recipe was a total win!  I had two chayote squashes in the crisper and not much else and I needed something for dinner last Friday night.  So I stopped at Treasure Island on the way home from work to see what I could find there.

What they had were the same beautiful ancient sweet peppers I first discovered last year and first used in this stir fry.  I thought they would pair well with the chayote and would add some color to whatever dish I decided to make.  My thoughts next turned to protein, and as soon as I thought of pancetta I knew I would be making some kind of pasta dish.

After a quick look in my pantry when I got home, I decided to use whole wheat orzo.  I got to work and in about half an hour I had a surprisingly satisfactory dinner.  Add a fresh green salad and a crusty slab of garlic bread and you have dinner fit for company.

Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

4 servings

1 cup wholoe wheat orzo, cooked a minute less than package directions
1 scant Tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta, diced
4 large or 6 small cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
2 ancient sweet peppers, cored and seeded, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 chayote squash, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sauvignon blanc, or white wine of choice (or white wine vinegar)
3/4 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
grated parmigiana reggiano cheese for garnish

Put the olive oil and pancetta in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the pancetta is just done add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the sweet peppers an cook for 2 minutes, then add the chayote squash.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes.  Add the wine and cook for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and the water.  Bring the skillet to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the orzo and bring it back up to heat.  Cook for another minute, until the orze is done.  Remove from the heat and add the parsley.

Serve immediately, garnished with the cheese and more parsley.


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