Mushroom “Orzotto”

24 Sep

OrzottoThis is a version of a River Cottage recipe, which is dead easy and yummy! It’s using the Greek rice shaped pasta, orzo, instead of rice. Great veggie option to rustle up if you’ve just been told your newly-acquired friend who is due over for lunch in an hour is a devout vegetarian. Obviously don’t use chicken stock or parmesan. Recipe works (almost) as well without it.



  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
  • A knob of butter
  • 500g mushrooms (see above), cleaned, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 150g orzo pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • About 75ml dry white wine
  • About 50ml crème fraîche
  • I chicken or vegetable stock cube (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A good handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
  • Grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top



Put a large pan of well-salted water on to boil, so that you’re ready to
cook the pasta while the sauce is coming together.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the butter in a large frying pan
over a medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook briskly,
stirring often, until all the liquid released has evaporated and the
mushrooms are starting to caramelise. Transfer to a dish and repeat
with the rest of the oil, butter and mushrooms. (Cooking in two batches
like this avoids overcrowding the pan and ensures the mushrooms do
not stew.)

When the second batch of mushrooms are nearly cooked, add the
pasta to the pan of boiling water and cook until al dente.

Return the first lot of mushrooms to the frying pan. Add the garlic,
thyme and balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.
Add the wine and cook until there is almost no liquid left. Add the
cream or crème fraîche, reduce the heat a little and stir until it is just
about simmering. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta as soon as it is cooked, add to the mushroom mixture
and toss well. Serve scattered with lots of chopped parsley.


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