Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Orzo with Clams, Summer Vegetables & Almonds

I came up with this recipe as a mildly-seasoned but tasty and nourishing dish for Greg, who has been under the weather this week. I jazzed up my serving with a light sprinkling of red pepper flakes, and I would have dressed it up with fresh herbs had I had any on hand. You can make this with regular orzo pasta although I used whole-wheat orzo. You can substitute chicken broth for the white wine, if you prefer. You can also use zucchini or other tender summer squash in place of the yellow squash.

1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter or bacon grease
1/3 cup diced onion
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced yellow squash
1/3 cup diced red or orange sweet peppers
1/3 cup diced carrot
3/4 cup coarsely chopped baby portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1 can (8 to 10 oz) clams, drained, liquid reserved
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz orzo pasta

Toast the almonds over medium-low heat in a small pan, then set aside. Heat the oil and butter or bacon grease in a large, deep skillet. Saute the onion until it starts to soften, then add the garlic, squash, carrots and sweet peppers. Saute over medium heat until softened. While this cooks, begin cooking the orzo according to package directions. Once the veggies have softened, stir in the mushrooms and wine. Simmer over medium-low heat, adding some of the reserved clam liquid to keep the veggies moist as the mushrooms soften. When the orzo is ready, drain well and stir the orzo into the skillet. Season with herbs and black pepper to taste. Stir in the sweet peas and cook until heated through, adding more of the reserved clam liquid as needed to keep everything moist. When peas are heated through, stir in the clams and slivered almonds and cook for a few minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parmesan cheese until just melting. Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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