Summer Squash Orzotto With Basil & Pecorino

July 26, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Ericka Martins. Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimmons.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Summer Squash Orzotto With Basil & Pecorino
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded summer squash
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from that same lemon you zested)
  • 3 cups to 4 cups chicken broth, warmed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for serving
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano, plus more for serving
  1. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the orzo and toss to combine. Cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, about a cup at a time, stirring until it has absorbed. Continue to cook, adding broth a little bit at a time and stirring often until the pasta is cooked and the mixture is super creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine, then take the orzo off the heat.
  4. Add the basil, cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Libby Sullivan Trammell
    Libby Sullivan Trammell
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Cassandra Brecht
    Cassandra Brecht
  • MoL

8 Reviews

Libby S. July 7, 2022
Fabulous, silky summer orzo, the recipe has miraculous results. It is very easy to make and wonderful enough to serve company. Kids will love it too aa the vegetables are so subtle.
MoL February 16, 2022
Comfort food at its best! My 2.5 year old loves to watch Artie, so we try the recipes that he likes. Another hit with this "mac and cheesy." ;)
HannahV August 5, 2021
Really enjoyed this. A standout dish that's totally possible on a weeknight. I grated my onion as well as the squash and it turned out well. Added some spinach along with the basil and dove in. Thank you Samantha!
Rosalind P. August 3, 2021
Great dish as is. and flexible. An engaging pair! One tiny cavil. Watched the video with a friend who's a trained chef. She had to stop watching because was aghast at how Samantha's hair swung freely over the pot and the food. In some shots, from over her shoulder, friend hid her eyes. Granted this is a talented home cook, not a chef in a professional kitchen. But in a demonstration video the hair shouldn't be such a distraction. Especially when the dish is such a good one and the chef-and-a-half so engaging.

Cassandra B. August 1, 2021
The lemon zest and juice are added at the end with the basil and extra cheese.
Karen G. August 1, 2021
Well, this is a delicious and entirely different way to use summer squash. It’s a surprising light tasting dish. I used Gouda cheese, since it’s what I had on hand and it turned out great! My husband even loved it and he’s not a fan of squash.
Jwolgemuth July 30, 2021
And when do you add the lemon juice and zest? I didn’t see reference to it in the directions.
mimolette July 27, 2021
I love Samantha's recipes and videos. Her son is the cutest kid ever.

I'm glad I watched the video to see when the lemon peel and juice get added. The written recipe doesn't seem to have that info. Made this tonight and it was delicious.