Sunshine on a Plate: Orzo Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil & Mediterranean Flair
Craving a summery dish that’s light, vibrant, and bursting with flavor? Look no further than this orzo pasta with basil and tomatoes recipe! Packed with fresh, Mediterranean ingredients like juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, and salty olives, it’s a symphony of textures and tastes that will transport you straight to a sun-drenched Italian villa (minus the airfare!).
This dish is more than just a pretty face, though. It’s quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners or even a light lunch. The orzo pasta, resembling tiny rice grains, cooks in a flash, absorbing the delicious flavors of the sauce like a sponge. And let’s not forget the nutritional benefits: fresh tomatoes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, basil brings a touch of vitamin K, and the olives add a dose of healthy fats.
But the real magic lies in the combination of textures and flavors. The sweet and tangy tomato sauce, bursting with fresh summer flavors, contrasts beautifully with the salty bite of olives and the earthy richness of artichoke hearts. The creamy Parmesan cheese adds a touch of decadence, while the fresh basil leaves offer a burst of herbal aroma in every bite.
Tips for Confetti Orzo
When making orzo, I like to brown half the batch beforehand in a little olive oil, and then add the rest of the pasta later. The result is a beautiful confetti-like color that gets even more pop from red tomatoes and chopped herbs such as basil or fresh oregano. You can also add olives, artichoke hearts, or anything else that sounds good to you. Hope you enjoy this easy orzo recipe.
Ready to embark on this culinary adventure? Let’s get cooking! Serve this with my Chicken Cordon Bleu!
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Orzo Pasta with TomatoesRecipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided use
- 2 cups orzo pasta
- 2 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree or crushed garlic
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil
- 2-3 pinches sea salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese optional
- Olives optional
- Artichoke hearts optional
- Preheat a large stock pot to medium high.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 cup orzo pasta. Saute pasta until browned.
- Stir in the rest of the pasta and 2 quarts of water. Season with a few pinches of sea salt.
- After 12 minutes, strain the pasta.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Melt down. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic-shallot puree. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomato, cook down a bit, then add the pasta. Stir to incorporate the pasta. Finally, add 1 tablespoon chopped oregano or basil.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed, and serve!
- Note: If using the optional add-ons, add at the same time you add the tomato.