Creamy Squash Orzo
I made this recipe a while ago, before I started this blog. I took a picture because I knew that one day I will use it. It was absolutely delicious and I only regret that I didn’t take more pictures and didn’t record a cooking video tutorial. I did not know back then that I will start a blog with vegetarian recipes. Of course I was thinking about it but there’s a long way from thinking about something to actually doing it. Hence just one picture but it’s really easy to make. Orzo and squash fit perfectly and the dish actually looks like risotto. You can easily substitute orzo for rice if you want to but I just love orzo, together with angel hair it’s my favorite pasta variety. By the way, even though the recipe calls for 4 garlic cloves it won’t be overwhelming because the garlic is roasted so it becomes much milder.
Ingredients (serve 4):
3 cups uncooked orzo
1 small spaghetti squash (any winter squash will be fine but spaghetti is my favorite)
4 oz plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup of raw almonds
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Cook orzo pasta according to package instructions.
Preheat the oven to 400°F, cut squash into half, place in the ovenproof dish skin side up with a bit of water on a bottom and bake 30-40 min. (A video how to cook spaghetti squash here.) Wrap garlic cloves in greased aluminum foil and bake on a rack together with squash.
Take out squash and garlic from the oven and let them cool. When cold enough to handle scoop out the seeds from the squash and throw them away. Using fork take out the inside of the squash into a bowl.
Add squash into a food processor. Cut off the stems from each garlic clove and squeeze out of its skin into a food processor. Combine with Greek yogurt, almonds, salt and pepper and process until smooth.
In a pot mix with orzo, parsley and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Heat slightly and serve.
Tip: I tried making this dish with other type of pasta, I think elbows and it didn’t work that well. I mean it worked great when it was eaten right away but when I left a portion for the next day it became a bit lumpy and elbows became somehow overcooked so if you want to make more for the next day don’t combine all the sauce with pasta at once, leave some separate for the next day and combine just before eating. Plus I think it just looks and tastes better with orzo but you can experiment with other types of pasta. When combined with elbows it becomes healthier version of mac & cheese. Also it might be good to substitute almonds for parmesan.