Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Orzo with Pancetta and Fried Egg

Enjoy a bowl of creamy, rich, and tasty pasta topped off with a fried egg—just break into that runny yolk and your sauce gets even silkier. A little pancetta adds a salty note, and the simple sauce—milk, chicken broth, and flour—comes together easily to form the creamy base of the dish.  

I like orzo here because it’s small and stirs into the sauce like a risotto. But note: Orzo comes in different sizes, and that determines cooking time. In general, this pasta usually triples in size when cooked, so you don’t need much dry orzo to start with. For this recipe, I used very small No. 74 noodles. See more about that at Chicken Minestrone with Orzo.

No. 74 Orzo
Serves 4

  • 1 cup uncooked small orzo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 spring or bulb onions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Sauce Ingredients
  1. Cook the orzo in a pot of boiling, salted water until tender, 10 minutes, depending on size. Drain.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil, swirling to coat. Add the pancetta, bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta begins to brown and the vegetables are crisp tender, 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the milk, broth, and flour until well incorporated. Stir the milk mixture into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cooked orzo. Re-season with salt and pepper, if needed, and keep warm over low heat while the eggs cook.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 the butter. When the butter begins to sizzle, crack 2 eggs into the skillet and fry until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (or until desired degree of doneness). Repeat with the remaining butter and 2 eggs.
Pancetta Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Pancetta Mixture 
Milk Mixture Added 
Orzo Stirred In 
Fried Eggs
To serve, divide the orzo mixture among 4 shallow bowls and top each with a fried egg. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve right away.

Orzo with Pancetta and Fried Egg

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