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Orzo with Sausage and Asparagus

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This dish is from my 52 New Recipes project, and I’ve made it several times since.

Which is a very good sign that it’s a keeper.

Not only is it tasty, it’s also a quick one-dish meal (the cooking time is less than 20 minutes!)

Another vote in its favor: it uses chicken broth, which is 1) super healthy and 2) pretty much always in my freezer.

(Here’s how I make my homemade chicken broth.)

The original recipe called for broccoli rabe, but I’ve never had that on hand. So, I’ve always used chopped asparagus instead.

Also, I’ve never used the Peppadew peppers the recipe calls for, since most of my family dislikes hot stuff.

<disenchanted sigh>

I do sometimes throw in some red or yellow bell peppers for some color, but of course, that adds zero spice.

Oh, and, I use cheap cooking wine because I never have wine sitting around the house. Also because I am frugal.

I know that cooking wine is legitimately terrible, but I guess the Family FG has underdeveloped palates. 😉

On the other hand, I do use an actual block of Parmesan cheese instead of the powdery stuff.   So, you know, it all balances out.

parmesan cheese wedge from Aldi

(Aldi wooed me into the world of Parmesan cheese wedges by offering them at super affordable prices.   So now my frugal self can use fancy cheese.)

The Parmesan melts beautifully when tossed with the hot orzo, and it gives the dish a more saucy consistency than it would have otherwise.   Definitely don’t skip it!

Orzo with Sausage and Broccoli

Printable Orzo with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces broccoli rabe or asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
 ¼ teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
2  ¼ cups chicken broth
1  ¼ cups orzo
 ¼ cup dry white wine
 ½ cup thinly sliced jarred hot Peppadew peppers
â…“ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet until it shimmers.   Add the broccoli rabe or asparagus, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes (broccoli rabe) or 4 minutes (asparagus).

Add half of the garlic, and cook for a few minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender. Transfer the veggies to a plate, tent with foil (I actually never do that!), and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan and heat until it shimmers.   Add sausage, and cook until browned; add remaining garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, orzo, and white wine, and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until orzo is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Sprinkle broccoli rabe or asparagus, Peppadews (if using), and Parmesan cheese over top, and gently mix to combine.

Top servings with extra grated Parmesan if you want (more Parmesan is always fabulous, dear friends.)

Recipe is from a Cook’s Country magazine, which is SO my favorite cooking magazine. It almost never fails to give me a good, solid main dish recipe in each issue, which is exactly the cooking help I need most.   Go subscribe!

(I am not affiliated with Cook’s Country and I’m not sponsored to recommend their magazine. I just find it to be really helpful.)

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Saturday 16th of March 2019

Our family doesn’t care for broccoli or asparagus. Can you recommmend another veggie I could substitute and still have it taste yummy?


Monday 18th of March 2019

How about sweet peppers?

Lindsey C.

Sunday 14th of January 2018

Funnily enough, I simply don't like the taste of wine so I buy the individual servings of wine and keep until needed. I usually have one red and one white for recipes and replace as needed. I figure a cheap drinking wine is supposed to be better than a cooking wine so I'm probably fine.


Friday 29th of December 2017

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I made it with what I had, which meant broccoli and chicken sausage, and it was delicious. Definitely a keeper!


Saturday 23rd of December 2017

I made this when you posted it in May and I think we've had it about once a month since, as it's sooo good! I've used the broccoli rabe and asparagus versions...can't always find broccoli rabe in my stores so an alternate is good. Wonder what else would work.


Friday 22nd of December 2017

I agree, this recipe sounds delicious. You can also substitute extra stock for wine. I learnt from Nigella Lawson that you can freeze wine - she puts freshly opened leftover wine in 1/2 cup measures in the freezer, we tried it and it works; the alcohol won't completely freeze so it's more like a firm slushy. so you do have to keep the container upright to avoid leaks. I do find my risotto is much better when the first ladle is wine but I follow the rule to only cook with wine I would enjoy drinking as it's the wine flavour you are left with.

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