Day five of Blogember is to share a favorite recipe: Either my own or someone else’s. This one was hard to choose. I have shared a few recipes on here in the past (remember mango chutney slaw ?). Should I pick a healthy recipe? A fan favorite? I decided to go with this one… This recipe for Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas is from the queen of Italian cooking, Giada De Laurentiis. Here is the link to Food Network if you decide you want to print it out for yourself! I have made this recipe so many times. It is an easy to make, savory, melty, gooey, comfort food recipe at it’s best – A grown up Mac N’ Cheese. Sometimes we would pair it with chicken. Other times we would have it alone with just a glass of white wine (ok- two). Dan and Al really love it! I have even taken it to put luck with friends as well. I normally use a glass 9×13 baking dish. However, when I need to travel with the dish, I will mix everything up and put it in a crock pot with a ceramic insert that allows me to put it directly in the oven to brown the topping just before serving. Even though I can not eat this one any more (dairy issue), it is still one of my favorites to make and share with you all. Buon Appetito!
Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the Marsala. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and cook until the Marsala has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the orzo in the large bowl. Add the cream, fontina, mozzarella, peas, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and dried thyme. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top of the pasta. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.