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Orzotto with Mushrooms

Another easy dinner recipe from our own Tom Landshof (from his son, John Landshof).

I thought I had coined a new word "orzotto," a take off on risotto, but when I Googled it, I came up with a bunch of recipes using barley, not orzo. It seems this is a popular Italian dish. Oh well, this is my version. I use Barilla brand orzo which I can't seem to find in Indianapolis, so I import it when we travel back east. As you may have noticed from past pictures, we use orzo as a starch quite regularly. This is a nice variation and quite easy. You can add or subtract things as the mood strikes you. The recipe is quite versatile. There is more information in the notes. This can be a side dish or a main course. I've shown it both ways.

Serves 6


3 or 4 tablespoons butter
1 cup orzo (see notes)
3+ cups chicken broth (see notes)
12 ounces mushrooms (see notes)
1/2 medium onion (optional)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup grated aged Gouda
1/2 cup chopped parsley
chicken (optional)

Orzotto main dish


Coarsely dice mushrooms and onion and sauté in some butter. Set aside. In a 12-inch frying pan add a generous tablespoons of butter and 1/3 cup of orzo. Cook over medium-high heat until pale gold in color. Add another tablespoons butter and another 1/3 cup of orzo and cook untill it is just beginning to color. Add last 1/3 cup of orzo and sauté for a minute or two. Start adding chicken broth, a 1/2-cup at a time and stirring it in until absorbed. Cook over medium heat until orzo is al dente, adding more chicken broth as needed. Stir in sautéed mushrooms and onion as orzo is finishing. Stir in cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

Orzotto Side Dish


I got this recipe from my son, John, who is also a good cook. He does the orzo in thirds to give three shades of color to the orzo. If you don’t want to bother, just dump it all in at once, but the three shades of color is a nice touch.

Use low sodium broth. I like Pacific Natural Foods Organic chicken broth available at Costco and some grocery stores.

Any variety of mushrooms works. Your choice. I like crimini. If you use dried mushrooms like shiitake or porcini, rehydrate in warm water and mince, and use the leftover water in place of some of the stock it adds good mushroom flavor. Onion is optional but it adds to the flavor.

To make this a main course, I cut some chicken up into bite-sized pieces and sautée it, adding it in with the mushrooms at the end.