A twist on the Italian classic, this risotto-style recipe is made with velvety orzo pasta instead of rice and is full of fresh summery flavours. We’ve also given our own spin to a classic pesto recipe, using rocket to give it a peppery kick. Quick and easy to make, this homemade pesto lifts the flavours in this dish, working brilliantly with the charred courgettes and chopped tomato salad. One bite and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy. Buon appetito!
Hard Cheese (Italian Style)
Vegetable Stock Pot
Halve, peel and finely chop the shallot into ½cm pieces. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Remove the top and bottom from the courgette, then cut in half lengthways and chop into 1cm cubes. Chop the vine tomato into 1cm cubes. Finely chop the basil (stalks and all) and half the rocket. Roughly chop the pine nuts.
Put the basil, chopped rocket and pine nuts in a mixing bowl. Add the hard Italian cheese, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour in the olive oil (see ingredients for amount). TIP: Use your best quality olive oil! Add a quarter of the garlic (leave it out if you don't like raw garlic) and mix everything together. TIP: If you have a food processor, you can use it here, but we prefer the satisfaction of doing it by hand!
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the shallot. Cook until soft, 3-4 mins. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the orzo and stir, then pour in the water (see ingredients for amount) and vegetable stock pot. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer (stirring occasionally) until the liquid has been absorbed and the orzo is soft, 10 mins.
Meanwhile, put a frying pan on medium heat (no oil). Add the courgette and cook until charred, turning occasionally, 7-8 mins.
Once the orzo is cooked, stir in three quarters of the pesto, the courgettes and the tomatoes. TIP: If all the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is not quite done, add a splash of water and keep cooking.
Serve the orzotto in bowls, topped with the rocket leaves and a spoonful of remaining pesto. Enjoy!