Loi Pasta Kritharaki Orzo Mushroom Risotto
- 1 package of Loi Pasta Kritharaki Orzo
- 1 onion, very finely chopped (by hand or in the food processor)
- 1 cup grated tomato (grated on the large holes of a box grater)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds white button mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated pecorino cheese, for garnish
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Cook onion in Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat, until golden and caramelized, 8-10 minutes, sprinkling it lightly with salt as it cooks. Add the tomato and garlic and continue to cook until well combined.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. The liquid they release as they cook will be used later to coat the pasta. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and add the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
- Pour in the wine and add 2 cups of stock. Continue to cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by one-third. There should be enough liquid (about 1 up) in the skillet to comfortably hold all the orzo. If not, add extra water or stock as needed.
- Preheat a small sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the Loi Pasta Kritharaki Orzo and cook, stirring, until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma, less than 5 minutes.
- Carefully add the Loi Pasta Kritharaki Orzo to the skillet with the mushroom mixture and allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 5 to 10 minutes. If the orzo has absorbed all of the liquid but isn’t quite done, add another ¼ or 1/2 cup of stock to the skillet. Taste the sauce, and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. To serve, ladle the pasta into large bowls, sprinkle with pecorino cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves.