Olga's Orzo with Summer Vegetables and Bacon

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Orzo with Summer Vegetables and Bacon Category: Omnivore How long does it take? Preparation time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 12 minutes Name: Olga Why is it a favorite meal? This dish is colorful, flavorful, fast to prepare and can be adapted by interchanging the main ingredients.Orzo with Summer Vegetables and Bacon

This "Orzo with Summer Vegetables and Bacon" dish takes minutes to put together, but is full of color and flavor. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, the recipe uses the green zucchini, cherry tomatoes, arugula and bacon as the stars. Onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and basil round up the players. You, however, can customize this recipe to your liking by choosing whichever vegetables are in season, leaving out the bacon (to make the dish vegetarian), and playing with different shapes of pasta. Feel free to add Parmesan cheese if you happen to have it in your refrigerator.

Ingredients:
1 cup orzo
4 bacon strips, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 green zucchini, diced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, depending on your tolerance for heat
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup arugula
chiffonade of 10 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Parmesan cheese

Directions
1) Bring to a boil 4 cups of salted water. Add orzo and cook for about 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, heat a skillet. Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes.
3) Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
4) Add zucchini and red pepper flakes, mix, cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice.
5) Add tomatoes, cooked & drained orzo, arugula and basil.
6) Mix everything together, adjust the flavor with salt & pepper and serve.
7) Optional: add Parmesan cheese on top.

This recipe makes 2-4 servings.

Enjoy!

Thanks Olga, and good luck! Readers, give Olga a thumbs up if you like this recipe!

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