Greek gastronomy comprises a series of dishes that are consumed in both ancient and actual Greece.
This style of cuisine arises from the union of several regional ones: it is a Mediterranean style, with techniques and ingredients that it shares with Italy.
Now we talk about some ingredients from the pastas and gelatos country, there is one of them that despite being Italian, its use has spread throughout Greece and the Mediterranean basin: we are talking about orzo.
Today we bring you an amazing post where you will learn a little more about this ingredient and we will present you with a delicious vegetables and ricotta baked orzo recipe, with which you will have a lunch rich in flavor and nutritious for its ingredients.
Stick around and find out more about this important Italian ingredient!
Orzo: one of the most beloved Mediterranean ingredients
Orzo is a pasta made from durum wheat semolina. It has the shape of a grain of rice and is originally an Italian food. Although its favorite destination is to be an ingredient for soups, it perfectly accompanies stews, meats, poultry, fish, salads, and often combines with rice when making rice pilaf.
What are the health benefits of today's recipe?
Today's recipe features orzo, spinach, ricotta cheese and mushrooms. Below we will explain how these ingredients can help us.
Orzo will provide us with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients. Without it, the body will not function properly, so a daily intake of carbohydrates is necessary.
Orzo pasta contains a large amount of fiber (approximately 1.8 g per 100 g of orzo). It's a good food for people with digestion problems, such as constipation.
Spinach is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and is a carrier of antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids. Its minerals include calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
The high iron content of spinach prevents anemia and promotes better sports performance, while its calcium content prevents osteoporosis.
Ricotta cheese has a high nutritional value because it is made from the whey of milk, thus being higher in protein and preserving all the essential amino acids.
They are especially rich in vitamin B2, B3, B1 and folic acid, which play essential roles in the proper functioning of the nervous system and metabolism.
Its folic acid content helps women who want to become pregnant or who are already pregnant. This vitamin reduces the risk that the baby may have developmental problems.
Vegetables and ricotta baked orzo recipe
- 1 diced onion.
- 1 diced red bell pepper.
- 2 cups of diced mushrooms.
- 4 minced cloves of garlic.
- 1 tsp. of dried basil.
- ½ tsp. of dried parsley.
- ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes.
- 1 tsp. of salt.
- 3 tbsp. of olive oil.
- 2 cups of roughly chopped baby spinach.
- 1 can (28 oz) of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- 1 ½ cups of ricotta cheese.
- 1 lb. of dry orzo, dry (about 2 ½ cups).
- 2 ½ cups of vegetable or chicken broth.
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Fresh basil, to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205 C).
- In a large 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, add the onion, bell bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, dried basil, dried parsley and salt. Drizzle with olive oil, mix well and then place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- When the vegetables are ready, remove the pan from the oven, add the chopped spinach and stir until it begins to incorporate into the vegetable mixture.
- Add the canned tomatoes and ricotta and stir again until fully incorporated into the vegetables. Then add the dried orzo grains and broth and stir until well combined.
- Return the uncovered dish to the oven for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven, rotate it well and return it to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the pasta has cooked and absorbed most of the liquid.
- When the pasta is tender, remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle with grated mozzarella and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. When the cheese has melted, remove the dish from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.