Orzotto... you say? What on earth is Orzotto?! It's yummy is what I say! More texture than your usual Risotto, more flavour and healthier. It's a win, win situation.
We cooked this quite a few weekends ago, after we spent all day cleaning our flat, tried our new Pilates DVD, popped open a bottle of delicious Tempranillo and then started cooking. This Orzotto is the sort of healthy, filling and comforting meal you need on a cold and rainy Sunday evening. It's the kind of dinner you eat, snuggled up on the sofa, possibly in front of a fire place, sipping on a rich red wine and watching your favourite series.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Just as Risotto this is a very flexible and forgiving recipe! We made a Middle Eastern inspired version as well which was absolutely delicious and I definitely will share with you soon.
- 500g lean pork mince
- 150g pearl barley
- 100g frozen spinach
- 100g frozen peas
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp dry chilli flakes
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 200ml white wine
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan, or other hard Italian cheese, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot, add the onions, garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes and sautée on a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions start to soften. Turn the heat up a little, add the mince bit by bit and fry until browned.
- Mix in the spinach and warm up until defrosted then stir in the pearl barley. Turn the heat up to high, wait a minute or so and then deglaze the pot with the white wine. Leave to bubble away until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
- Pour in the stock, give it all a good stir and leave to cook over a medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the barley sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- After 30 minutes the barley should be tender, the stock almost completely evaporated and you should have a silky orzotto. Mix in the frozen peas and cook until defrosted and warmed through.
- Finally stir in the lemon juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a little grated Parmesan.