Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baked Orzo with Zucchini

This simple dish comes together in minutes and calls for a light soup or tossed green salad and hot Italian bread with olive oil for dunking. It also makes a great buffet party dish, as it can feed a group when served with other fare. Serves 6.

2 cups dried tri-colored or plain orzo
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsps. minced garlic
1 large leek, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup chunky marinara sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups shredded, low-fat mozzarella
Pizza or Italian spice mix to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly oil heatproof baking dish.

2. Heat water in covered saucepan. When at a rapid boil, cook orzo until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat and sauté garlic, leeks, and zucchini slices for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

4. Drain orzo and place in baking dish. Stir in marinara sauce, salt, and pepper and spice mix. Top with half the cheese.

5. Arrange zucchini and leek slices on top of orzo, and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes, or until mozzarella melts. During last 5 minutes, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Baked Orzo with Zucchini

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