Recipe: Orzo with Bacon, Asparagus and Truffle Butter

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[I am dedicating this recipe to Federico. An old friend who is “single” and “lazy” – his words, not mine – and who is searching for easy, quick recipes. This one would impress the next lady in his life, or just fill his belly on those cold, lonely nights. In Mexico. Wait. Are there even cold, lonely nights in Mexico?]

Tonight was the sort of night when I made no plans for dinner. On many weekend nights, I take advantage of having the husband around and plan elaborate menus, using him as a sort of guinea pig for new recipes and new cookbooks. After we gobbled up our Beet Salad with Wasabi and Fried Capers, we wandered around the kitchen, wondering what else to make to adequately fill our bellies. I did have some amazing bacon from Heritage Foods, a gift from some dear friends of ours. I also had organic asparagus from my CSA, and a couple tablespoons of leftover truffle butter that I had purchased at The Butcher Shop a couple weeks ago.

All these ingredients are yummy, but we yearned for comfort food. Risotto would be perfect, but I wasn’t in the mood to wait 30-40 minutes while the starches formed in the arborio rice. Then I found a box of orzo in the pantry. Orzo is delicious and always my stand-in for risotto. It’s a tiny pasta that resembles rice and when smothered with truffle butter and bacon fat and a bit of grated cheese, closely resembles a rich risotto. I mean – what wouldn’t with all that?

I sprinkled some extra cheese on just before serving, along with a slight drizzle of very good extra virgin olive oil (I use Frantoia). I was too lazy to add the lemon zest or parsley. Actually, the parsley was dismissed by my husband; he didn’t want any more “green things” between him and his bacon.

This dish took a total of about 15 minutes to make, and was very satisfying and comforting. After two servings, we hit the couch to watch some silly movie and process all that goodness.

Mid-bite
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Orzo with Bacon, Asparagus and Truffle Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-oz box of orzo
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4-5 slices of good bacon, preferably from Heritage Farms
  • 2-3 tablespoons truffle butter (or any nice unsalted butter)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • A sprinkling of parmasean cheese
  • Optional additions: 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of water with 6 cups of water. When it comes to a boil, add a handful of salt to season the water and add the orzo. Boil according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta boils, slice up the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and add it to a medium-hot pan. Cook the bacon until it browns, then remove and drain on a paper towel. Add the asparagus to the leftover warm bacon fat and cook until tender but still green. Reduce the heat to medium and add the truffle butter. Add the cooked orzo, black pepper, a touch of salt and a large sprinkling of parmasean cheese. Return the bacon to the pan.
  3. Toss all the ingredients for 30-seconds and then serve.

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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