Orzo is one of the tiniest pasta shapes out there - at first glance you might mistake one for a grain of rice. They make a great addition to soups and stews but today we're letting them absorb some flavourful stock, a little like in a risotto. An orzotto if you will! Enriched with chorizo and not one but two types of cheese, it's a real treat.
Vegetable Stock Pot(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)
Grated Italian Style Hard Cheese(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Halve, peel and chop the onion into roughly 1cm pieces. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Pick the thyme leaves from their stalks (discard the stalks).
Place the tomatoes on a lined baking tray, season with salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar (if you have some). Roast on the top shelf of your oven for 10 mins. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.
Pop the kettle on to boil. Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Stir and cook until soft, 5 mins. Next add the garlic, thyme, tomato purée and chorizo to your pan. Give everything a good stir. Cook for another 2 mins. Add the orzo to the pan and stir again so it gets a good coating of all the other ingredients.
Pour in the boiling water (see ingredients for amount) to the pan along with the vegetable stock pot. Stir to dissolve the stock pot. Simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the orzo is tender, 8-9 mins. TIP: Stir occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. If the liquid is all absorbed before the orzo is cooked, add another splash of water and give it a couple more minutes.
While the orzo cooks, roughly tear the mozzarella cheese into small pieces and grate the cheese. When the orzo is ready, take the pan off the heat, add the mozzarella, half the cheese and the roasted tomatoes. Stir gently. Add the baby spinach on top and pop a lid on the pan so the spinach wilts, 3-4 mins. Stir it in.
Serve your orzo in bowls with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!