Monday, October 1, 2012


Last week when I made Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lemon and Watercress I had mentioned that I served it with Roasted Tomato Orzo and Oven Roasted Asparagus, but I didn’t give you the recipes.  What gives?
I know in the past I would give you the recipes for the fish, orzo and asparagus together in the same blog post.  But I’ve been thinking (sometimes it hurts my head; but for you, I do it anyway); what if you want make just the orzo, or just the asparagus?  You would have to remember that I had included it in the post along with Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lemon and Watercress (that’s way too much to remember, and I don’t want to make your head hurt; I like you that much).  
To make it easier in the future to find these side dishes; I have determined to post the side dishes separately from now on, or at least until I think differently (every woman knows that as women we have the prerogative to change our minds as often as we like).  Actually, by differently I mean until I contemplate a better way to do things.
So here goes with Roasted Tomato Orzo Pasta:
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.

Roast the garlic in the olive oil for about 10 minutes; this will allow the garlic to roast, and to perfume the oil.  A Pyrex pie dish is the perfect size and depth to roast the tomatoes in.
While the garlic is roasting I cut the tomatoes in half…

 …and remove the tough part of the stems from the watercress.
I'm using watercress because I have a whole whack of it to use up.  If you don't have watercress use a little flat leaf parsley, basil or oregano...or just add more dried herbs in with the tomatoes. 
Roasting the garlic gives it a more subtle and sweet flavor.
Now that the garlic has roasted...

...add the tomatoes to the pan along with the Herb de Provence, (or Italian seasoning), salt and pepper. 

Just a pinch of sugar makes those sweet tomatoes even sweeter.

This is orzo pasta.  It kinda looks like rice.  One sixteen ounce package will feed 6 people, so use about 2/3 of the package.

I’m adding tomato juice to the water to reinforce the tomato flavor, this is totally optional.

Ooo, eee, does my tile look bright green in this pic! The tile really is much prettier than this photo reflects!

When the water comes to a boil, add the orzo pasta and stir.  The addition of the tomato juice may cause the water to boil over; I barely averted a big ol’ mess on my cook top.
How lovely!

The pasta will be nearly done after cooking for 6-7 minutes, so go ahead and drain it, but reserve 1/3 of a cup of the cooking liquid.  The pasta is going to cook some more, so it will be completely cooked by the end of the recipe; don’t you worry.

Return the pasta to the pan along with the tomatoes and the oil they roasted in, the 1/3 cup of reserved cooking liquid and the watercress (or chopped flat leaf parsley).  I removed the garlic because Billy doesn’t like much garlic, but if you like garlic (I do!) give it a little mash and add it to the pasta as well.
Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes, while stirring; until the orzo has absorbed the liquid.

So the recipe for Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lemon and Watercress only served 2, but I made this recipe for Roasted Tomato Orzo Pasta for 4; so that I had extra for lunch the next day.
This pasta is great served hot or at room temperature. 
I think the pasta is just delicious as it is; but if you must have cheese on your pasta, then you must! 

Serves 4

4              cloves   Garlic, smashed
¼             cup        Extra virgin olive oil
1              pint       Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
½             tsp.        Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning
¼             tsp.        Sugar
                              Salt and pepper
1 1/3      cups        Tomato juice, or two 5.5 oz. cans *optional
6              cups       Water
12           oz.          Orzo pasta; a package is 16 oz. so use 2/3 of the package
1 ½         cups       Watercress, with the tough stems removed; or ¼ cup of chopped flat leaf parsley 

1.       Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
2.       In a shallow baking dish combine the smashed garlic, and olive oil.  Put this into the hot oven for about 10 minutes, so that the garlic will flavor the oil.
3.       After the garlic has roasted and perfumed the oil add the tomatoes, Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasoning), sugar, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.  Roast in the oven for another 20 minutes.
4.       When the tomatoes have 10 minutes of cooking time remaining; bring the water, and tomato juice(*optional)to a boil in a 3 quart sauce pan.  The addition of tomato juice may cause the liquid to boil over; so keep an eye on it.
5.       When the water has come to a boil, add 1 Tbsp. of salt, and the orzo pasta; give it a stir.
6.   Check the pasta for doneness after about 6-7 minutes.  It should be firm in the center, but not hard.  The pasta will continue to cook once the tomatoes are added, so don't fret that it's not all the way cooked.
7.       When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta; reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid.
8.       Return the pasta to the pan along with the 1/3 cup of reserved cooking liquid, the roasted tomatoes along with the olive oil they roasted in, the watercress (or flat leaf parsley), salt and pepper to taste. You can remove the roasted garlic; or if you like, mash it and add that to the orzo as well.  Cook over medium heat, while stirring; until the liquid is absorbed into the pasta.  This takes about 2 minutes or so.

Serve with chicken, fish, or pork.

No comments:

Post a Comment