BAKED ORZO WITH GREEK CHEESES (for eight)
one 14-1/2 ounce can chicken broth
1 pound orzo or risi pasta
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup olive oil
½ pound feta cheese, crumbled (good quality French preferred)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup grated Kasseri or Romano cheese
- Pour broth into a large stock pot or pasta pot. Add 3 quarts water to broth and bring to a boil. Salt well. Stir in orzo slowly, just a small amount at a time (The water will boil up rapidly when it comes into contact with the orzo. If your pot is too small, it may overflow. Watch carefully, and reduce heat temporarily if the water threatens to flood your stove.) Boil until just tender but still firm to the bite, about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain well and return to the pot.
- Mix in cream, oil, feta and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing).
- Preheat oven to 350*. Cover orzo with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle orzo with Kasseri or Romano cheese and run under the broiler, uncovered, until the cheese browns, about 10 minutes.
adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, March, 1991
NOTE: If you like, add a pound of spinach, wilted, squeezed dry and chopped, for color.