Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baked Orzo with Fontina

A few weeks ago, Brooke hosted a NJ get together with some of the local girls from our cooking board. We each made a different component of the meal, and I was "in charge" of pasta. Brooke (who made a pumpkin gingerbread trifle and hot apple toddies) and I have been friends in real life for a few years now, but it was SO nice to meet Jenn (chicken marsala), Colleen (pizza pockets), and Sarah (zesty broccoli casserole)! (Check out their blogs for some yummy food, as well as recaps of our day - Sarah did a great job!)

Since Jenn was making Chicken Marsala, I thought this dish for Giada's Baked Orzo with Fontina (via Elizabeth's Edibles) would be perfect.

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the baking dish
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces shredded fontina cheese (about 1 cup) (I ended up using all mozzarella because my husband he couldn't find fontina at the store...)
  • 4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the Marsala. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and cook until the Marsala has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the orzo in the large bowl. Add the cream, fontina, mozzarella, peas, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and dried thyme. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the pasta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.


  1. Ooh, I have yet to make a baked orzo dish and this looks delicious!

  2. This looks so tasty (though I will have to omit the mushrooms...I don't like them). I just introduced hubby to orzo last weekend and he loves it.

  3. Yay I am glad you posted this! It was delicious!


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