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Baked Orzo With Mushrooms and Pancetta



Baked orzo with mushrooms and pancetta

Those Italians! Not enough for them to make pasta in the shape of radiators, ears, bow ties, wagon wheels – they also make pasta that...


  • 200g orzo pasta
  • 400ml stock or the mushroom soaking liquid
  • a small glass of white wine or vermouth (optional)
  • 120g diced pancetta
  • 1 spring onion, diced very fine
  • 1 small leek, white part only, diced very fine
  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms or a pouch or ready to use Merchant Gourmet mushrooms
  • butter
  • black pepper
  • a few sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • a small piece of Camembert or Brie, diced (optional)
  • 3-4 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan

Orzo pasta and mushrooms

If you are using dried mushrooms, rehydrate them in at least a pint of boiling water and let them soak for an hour. Drain, chop roughly and reserve the soaking liquid.
In a big frying pan cook the pancetta until crispy, then remove and put aside. In the same pan cook the onion and leek, you might need to add a little butter. 

Add the chopped soaked mushrooms or the contents of the ready-cooked pouch. Cook for a couple of minutes and throw the pasta into the pan with a glug of wine.

Stir it around and season with black pepper. Transfer everything into a baking dish, add the tomatoes, Camembert or brie and pour over the mushroom liquid or stock.

Orzo oven pasta bake

Stir well and bake in the oven preheated to 200C/400F/gas 6 for about 35 minutes. You’ll need to stir it once or twice during that time to stop it from catching to the bottom of the dish.

Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time stir in some of the grated pecorino and sprinkle some on top, reserve a little to add straight onto the plates.

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