Baked Mozzarella Orzo
This is a family favorite that is also a crowd pleaser to take to pot luck parties. It is an upscale or grown-up version of basic macaroni and cheese. It can be made ahead and reheated before serving.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
- 1 pound orzo uncooked
- 1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup College Inn chicken broth
- 35 ounce can plum tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 3/4 pound shredded mozzarella I add more mozzarella, up to 2 cups to get the top extra crusty
In a pot of boiling salted water, boil the orzo until it is al dente, drain it well in a colander.
In a large heavy skillet, cook the onion in the oil and the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the celery and cook the mixture, stirring for 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour, cook the mixture, stirring for 3 minutes, and then stir in the broth, the tomatoes, chopping them up with a spoon, the basil, and the cayenne.
Simmer the mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes, stir in the cooked orzo, 1/2 pound of the mozzarella and salt to taste, and transfer the mixture to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Add remaining mozzarella over the top of the orzo.
Bake the orzo in the middle of a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through and slightly browned and crisp on top.