i love cooking with orzo pasta, a tradition in my famiglia. This recipe honors one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus and blends it with cheese and a luxurious hint of truffle.
My recipe is from an adapted version (with the addition of lemon juice & lemon zest) by Chef Amanda Freitag of The Harrison in Tribeca, New York City (featured in InStyle Magazine March 2010.) —cucina di mammina
1 1/2 cups
dried orzo pasta
fresh spring asparagus, trimmed and peeled
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the orzo until it is "al dente". Drain and set aside. Clean and trim the asparagus using only the tender tops and tender stalks (peeled and sliced thinly) and steam them for 2-3 minutes; drain and set aside.
In a large non-stick skillet, add olive oil and garlic and saute until lightly cooked (do not brown the garlic.) Remove the garlic and add the asparagus and saute ; add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked orzo to the pan and add the heavy cream and butter placing the heat on low; cook and stir consistently for a few minutes until the orzo starts to thicken. Add in the zest of the lemon and squeeze in some of the lemon juice to your personal taste.
Continue cooking, add the grated cheeses and mix well to combine. At this final step, add the truffle butter and the grated black pepper; stir until the butter is well incorporated and immediately remove from the heat.
Serve this dish immediately and remember to include additional grated cheese at the table for you and your guests to enjoy.