Our goats cheese and red pepper orzo is the perfect summer treat! Inspired by dish I made years ago but with a little upgrade, this orzo pasta looks fantastic and tastes incredible too. Orzo is a pasta, that’s almost like rice. You can even make delicious risotto-like dishes with it, when cooked in its own water.
Many of us have a jar of roasted peppers knocking about in our cupboard. They are super tasty and can transform any dish into something special. Here, slicing half the peppers in the jar and then finely chopping (mincing) the other half, creates a sweet sauce with some texture.
You can roast your own peppers in the skins if you have time – simply heat the oven to its highest setting and then add the peppers for 10 to 15 minutes until the skins start to blacken. Once cooled, peel the skins off and viola, you have roasted red peppers. We recommend using the long sweet peppers over the red bell peppers but either will work.
Enjoy roasted red peppers in our spicy red pepper mayo, which we used for our delicious smoked tofu and mushroom burgers.
Orzo can often be mistaken for rice but it is actually a pasta, moulded into a similar shape. Usually made from durum wheat, it’s higher in protein which keeps its bite. It can be boiled and run through sauces like normal pasta but we like to cook it like a risotto. By this we mean putting the right amount of water in, to create a delicious, creamy sauce.
My original version of this recipe involved stock cubes but I didn’t want to use them in this one. With the right amount of vegetables, the stock is already there organically. A grated carrot, sliced onions, garlic sweated off creates incredible caramelised flavours.
Finished with a courgette for freshness and then, right at the end, a little lemon juice brings it all together. Not forgetting the wonderful soft goats cheese with transforms this dish into a creamy delight, with its tangy notes that work so well with sweet vegetables.
Roasted Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Orzo
- 400 g orzo pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 Roasted red peppers (from a jar) 2 sliced and two finely chopped (minced)
- 125 g soft goats cheese
- 1 onion thin sliced
- 1 medium sized carrot peeled and grated
- 1 medium sized courgette peeled and grated
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1.4 L of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a deep frying pan, add about a tablespoon of oil and gently fry the onion and carrot for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add a little salt and pepper to help it along.
- Add in the garlic and sweat off a little longer until everything starts for colour.
- Add in the finely chopped roasted pepper and then the grated courgette. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the dry orzo pasta and toast a little bit before adding half the water and bring to a boil. (You can cover with a lid to speed up the process).
- Give it a mix and then add the other half of the water and bring to the boil once more.
- Turn down to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes until the pasta is cooked and the water turns into a creamy consistency.
- In the last 5 minutes, stir in the sliced roasted peppers.
- When the pasta is cooked, stir in the goats cheese and reduce a little if you need to.
- Finish by stirring in the lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Serve with fresh parsley.