One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Orzo
I love a mushroom. I know that’s a relatively unpopular opinion amongst some, my brother in law being one funghi hater, but I can’t get enough of them. Sautéed in some butter on toast, in a stroganoff, hidden from George in a bolognese, they really are the gift that keeps on giving. In this One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Orzo, they really are the stars, making this recipe a great one to have on hand for anyone. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike, it makes a great main or side dish for everyone, apart from shroom avoiders, that is.
As the name rather implies, not only is this dish heavy on taste, it’s light on washing up. The whole dish just needs one pan, and is ready in less than 30 minutes. Orzo is my new favourite pasta because a) it’s quick to cook b) it’s cheap and c) everyone in our house loves it, making it a rare commodity. This is substantial enough as a mid week main or serve it with some pan fried chicken as a risotto-esque side. If you do have mushroom haters in your house, feel free to sub in any other bits and bobs you fancy. Fry off some pancetta and stir through some frozen peas or courgettes would make another good meat free replacement. Huge thanks to the always wonderful the Kitchn for another brilliant recipe idea.
We are hurtling towards Christmas and the joy that is spending far too much time in the kitchen. This never bothers me as I love to hide from my family in mine, however, if you are looking to spend less time slaving over a hot stove, then this one pot dream is the dish for you.
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice, or not, that I didn’t actually buy a big enough box of mushrooms for my orzo. I couldn’t be arsed to go out in the rain and buy more, so my dish only had 300g instead of 500g. It’s worth going heavy on the shrooms, as mine were a touch on the sparse side. I used chestnut mushrooms, as they are well flavoured, but use your faves for this recipe.
Make a start with a large saucepan or high sided frying pan and two tablespoons of olive oil. Heat until it’s shimmering then add the sliced mushrooms and generous amounts of salt and pepper.
Cook until they’re golden and tender, this will take around 5 minutes or so.
Now stir though your lazy or crushed garlic and tip in the 500g of orzo, and stir again.
Cook this for a minute then pour in the chicken stock and the milk and stir well.
Bring this up to the simmer, then turn down the heat and cook for around ten minutes, lid off. The cooked orzo will be tender and coated in a creamy sauce.
Stir through the grated parmesan or pecorino and the baby spinach. Cook for a further minute to melt the cheese and just wilt the spinach.
And that’s it. Beyond simple and incredibly tasty. Serve, piping hot, in warm bowlfuls with some extra cheese.
It’s grey and miserable outside, but this One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Orzo will brighten anyone’s day. Not least because you barely need to bother putting your Marigolds on for the washing up.
One Pot Spinach and Mushroom Orzo
Serves 4 as main course, 6 as a side dish
You will just need one pot
500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or a heaped teaspoon of garlic from a jar
Salt and pepper
500g orzo pasta
500ml chicken stock
500ml whole milk
100g baby spinach
100g parmesan or pecorino, grated
More cheese to serve
Take a large saucepan or high sided frying pan and, over a low heat, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms, with generous amounts of salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes or so until golden and well cooked.
Add the garlic and the orzo, stir well and cook for a minute. Pour on the stock and milk then stir again and bring up to the simmer. Turn down the heat and cook until creamy, with the lid off. This will take around 10 minutes.
Stir through the grated parmesan or pecorino then add the spinach and stir again. Cook for a further minute to melt the cheese and wilt the spinach. Serve in generous bowlfuls, with some extra cheese.
Leftovers reheat quite nicely in the microwave.