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Flavorful Fridays: Orzo with Tomato Vinaigrette

September 2, 2011

Last month, for various reasons, I found myself in a dinner rut–essentially I was making almost the same dinners every week. In an effort to climb out of my rut, I pulled up some recorded episodes of Giada at Home for inspiration. Sure enough, Giada did not disappoint. Out of the three episodes I watched with Monica, we compiled a list of six delectable dishes that we have to try. This week, I made Giada’s Orzo with Tomato Vinaigrette. She uses smoked salt, but I didn’t want to go the store to purchase it, so I substituted the smoked salt for coarse sea salt.

This orzo pasta is extremely light and fresh. It can be served either hot or cold, and just as easily be a side dish or the main course. And, the main ingredients are tomatoes and basil, what else do you need? I hope you enjoy this pasta dish as much as we do.

 

Orzo with Tomato Vinaigrette

Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

1 pound cherry tomatoes

1 pound orzo pasta

Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon salt (Giada used smoked salt, but regular works as well)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Directions:

Place the tomatoes in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes are tender and the skins are charred in spots, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

For the vinaigrette: Place the tomatoes, basil, vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Pour the vinaigrette over the pasta and toss until coated. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and enjoy!

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