almond pesto risoni with salami and wilted arugula
There is a special group of gentlemen within the esteemed carb family which I so admire. I know them only as, “the little-guy pastas”. Yes, yes, my technical knowledge astounds even me. (It’s OK to roll your eyes. I know I did.) Anyway, one of my favorite little-guy pastas, is orzo. Otherwise known as risoni.
I first discovered Mr. Orzo, or ¡Signore Risoni! (exclamation marks just seem so crucial to writing an Italian accent, no?) while strolling down a grocery aisle in Montreal. I was looking for inspiration and my eyes fell upon a charming little box of these guys:
I was transfixed. Why, that looks just like risotto! Ooh, but there’s no way I can screw it up! And, with that rapid inner-dialogue, into my cart it went. And I never looked back.
almond pesto risoni with salami and wilted arugula recipe:
1 small white onion, finely chopped
3 tbs finely chopped salami
a confident dash of white wine
3 tbs almond pesto
1 cup packed arugula
1/4 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup orzo (risoni)
Remember that almond pesto we made? It is perfect for this quick and easy pasta dish!
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook your orzo for about 10 minutes or until cooked to your liking. (Tip: When you feel like they are almost, but not quite done, strain the water and run quickly under some cold running water. They will finish cooking with the rest of your ingredients in a bit.)
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. I had some bacon lard on hand, but you could also add some olive oil to the pan. Add onions to the pan and cook until just starting to soften. Add chopped salami and fry for a few minutes. Next comes your wine! Let it hit the pan with that glorious sizzle and cook for under a minute. Add your almond pesto and let it soften into the mixture and get aromatic. Next toss in your arugula leaves and cook until soft. Add your cream, season with salt and pepper and add your orzo to the pan, mixing well until pasta has warmed through and finished cooking. (Not more than a couple minutes.) Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
But if you’re eating for two, orzo makes for perfect leftovers! Unlike some other pastas, I find leftover orzo dishes like this one can be taken from the fridge and tossed into a pan, heated up on the stove top, and it becomes delightfully smooth and creamy all over again!