Orzo risotto with lemon and fresh oregano

             Preparation time                                               Cooking time                                       Serves
             less than 30 mins                                            10 to 30 mins                                      Serves 2

Orzo is a type of small pasta that looks like grains of rice. Using orzo makes this risotto lighter than the traditional recipe and it cooks faster too. It's a really simple recipe and the lemon makes it taste lovely and fresh.


large splash light oil
1 large banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
225g/8oz orzo pasta
650ml/23fl oz hot vegetable stock
small handful chopped fresh oregano
large knob unsalted butter
½ unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest and juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium–high heat and gently fry the shallot with a generous pinch of salt for 5 minutes, or until just translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.
  2. Add the orzo to the pan, stirring until all the pasta is coated.
  3. Add a quarter of the stock and turn down the heat to medium–low. Continue adding the stock a quarter at a time, stirring regularly until the pasta has absorbed all the liquid and is tender but still has a little firmness at the centre. You may need to add a splash more water, or you might not need to use all the stock.
  4. Stir in the oregano, butter, lemon zest and juice, to taste. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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