Orzo, the giants among rice and the key ingredient to fun, healthy meal. I love the recipe because it’s finally a chance to use all of these herbs I’ve been hearing about and it fills up good. Whether you’ve been aching for some Italian or just wanted something hearty and nutritious, Elisabeth Antoine Crawford Orzo e Fagioli is the dish for you.
- 8 ounces dried borlotti (cranberry) beans
- 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium white potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups water, divided
- 2/3 cup pearl barley
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In advance, place the beans in a medium bowl and cover with water. Let soak for at least 12 hours, or overnight; drain.
- Place the beans in a large pot, along with the pancetta, onion, potato, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, black pepper, bay leaf, olive oil, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, place the barley in a medium bowl and cover with water. Let soak for 1 hour; drain.
- After the soup has simmered for 1-1/2 hours, remove about one-fourth of the soup and purée in a blender or food processor. Add the purée back to the pot, along with the barley and remaining 2 cups water; return to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, until the barley is tender, about 1-1/2 hours longer, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf; season to taste with salt. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
Elisabeth Antoine Crawford is the author of Flavors of Friuli: A Culinary Journey through Northeastern Italy. The cookbook’s most recent awards include a bronze medal in ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Awards and first runner-up in the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Formerly a contemporary dancer and Pilates instructor, Crawford is also the author of Balance on the Ball: Exercises Inspired by the Teachings of Joseph Pilates.
For more information: http://www.Flavors-of-Friuli.com