Wow! This is a fantastic side dish and I know I will be making it again and again! This dish would complement just about anything from grilled chicken, fish or even steak! It is super easy to make, and it tastes delicious. I got the original recipe from Sugar and Spice by Celeste and only "tweaked" it a little by using fat free half and half instead of regular cream. You could even add cooked diced chicken or bacon to the dish to make it a complete meal!
Creamy Orzo with Asparagus and Parmesan
1 cup Orzo (about 1/2 box)
1 cup asparagus cut into 1" pieces
1 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup cream (I used fat free 1/2 and 1/2)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil over medium heat. Cook the orzo until tender, about 10 minutes. After the orzo has been cooking for about 5 minutes, add the asparagus to the same pot (this will allow the orzo and asparagus to cook in the same pot and keep the clean-up to a minimum!). Once the orzo and asparagus are cooked and tender, drain and return to the same pot. Quickly add the Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir thoroughly, allowing both the cheese and butter to melt. Slowly add the cream to the mixture, while stirring. Continue to stir and add cream until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring a pan of water to boil and add Orzo and boil for about five minutes
Wash, clean and cut asparagus into smaller pieces
Add the asparagus to the pot of boiling orzo and cook
about another 5 minutes until the Orzo is cooked and
asparagus is tender (about 10 to 12 minutes total cooking time)
Drain Orzo and asparagus in colander
Melt butter in pan on stove top over medium heat
Add the Parmesan cheese to the butter
Return the Orzo/asparagus to the pan with the butter and mix in the cream
Add garlic powder and stir well
Serve as a side dish or even add cooked diced chicken or
crumbled bacon for a complete one dish meal!