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Zucchini Orzo

Foodell's picture
This is a dish that is a delicious vegetarian meal, or you can add a little chorizo sausage for extra protein and flavor. Orzo pasta looks like rice and can be used as a substitute for rice in many instances.
  Orzo pasta/Riso 3⁄4 Pound
  Zucchini 3 Large
  Olive oil 1 Tablespoon
  Red onion 1 Small, finely chopped
  Garlic 1 Clove (5 gm), minced (Large Cloves)
  Dried thyme 1 Teaspoon
  Dried oregano 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Cooked chorizo sausage 6 Ounce (Cut Into Small Pieces, Optional)
  Freshly grated parmesan/Other hard, sharp cheese, e.g., pecorino, asiago, etc. 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)

1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the orzo according to the package instructions (should be about 6 minutes cooking time.) Drain the orzo and toss it with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking.
2. While the pasta is cooking, shred the zucchini by grating it on the large holes of a cheese grater. (You will have mounds of zucchini, but don't worry as it loses a lot of volume when it cooks and releases its water.)
3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are slightly brown and the zucchini releases its juices and the juices evaporate, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the chorizo sausage (if using) and cook just until the chorizo is heated through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
5. Serve the orzo hot or at room temperature, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Main Dish
Pasta, Zucchini
Everyday, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
20 Minutes
Cook Time: 
10 Minutes
Ready In: 
30 Minutes
This recipe was adapted from Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She called it "Disappearing Zucchini Orzo" because the zucchini all but evaporates into the pasta, AND because it gets eaten very quickly.

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Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 595 Calories from Fat 206

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 23 g35.2%

Saturated Fat 7.6 g37.9%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 35 mg11.7%

Sodium 594.7 mg24.8%

Total Carbohydrates 72 g24%

Dietary Fiber 5.6 g22.4%

Sugars 6.5 g

Protein 25 g49.3%

Vitamin A 9.2% Vitamin C 45.7%

Calcium 23.3% Iron 22.4%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Zucchini Orzo Recipe