Surprise, another pasta post! This one is a little special though. My dad was here over the weekend and we went grocery shopping. One of the things I got was a little container of saffron threads from Trader Joe’s. Saffron is something I have always wanted to try cooking with but didn’t necessarily have the funds for (who knew a spice could be so expensive?) so I waited until me and my dad’s monthly shopping trip to get some. Although he wasn’t here to taste the final product, I can guarantee that it was definitely worth it; the saffron gives the orzo a beautiful golden color (you eat with your eyes, didn’t you know?) and the cream makes it almost like a risotto, minus the work. I ate this with some hot Italian sausage and it was delicious. Remember, when cooking with saffron, if you use too much it can really overpower a dish, so use sparingly!
Creamy Saffron Orzo
Serves six sides dishes, four main dishes
- One 16 oz. package orzo
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup cream
Start by preparing the saffron. Dissolve the saffron threads into one cup of water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan until it starts to foam.
Add the shallots to the pan and cook until they are soft. Shallots are delicious and more delicate than onions, and I highly recommend them if you haven’t tried them.
When the shallots are soft, add your orzo to the pan. Toast the orzo over medium heat while stirring occasionally, until some of the grains are golden brown.
When your orzo is golden, slowly add the saffron in water, chicken broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Once the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender.
Stir in the cream and cheese and remove the pasta from heat. Stir, top with a little more cheese if desired, and serve!