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January 17, 2018

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.comMy mother’s recipe binder is one of the most treasured items I have of hers. It was one of the first things I brought home with me.  I’ve been pouring through it whenever I feel like I need to be close to her. It’s filled with food stains and notes. A lot of recipes are written out in her handwriting that I had such a hard time forging (always).  There are quite a few recipes clipped from old newspapers, now yellowed with age.  The most trusted recipes seem to be the ones where my mom put those sticker reinforcements around the fraying binder paper holes. My mother always taught us to mend what we had, not immediately seek out its replacement.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

When I saw this recipe for Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts, I was transported back in time.  It was a dish my mom made for their company a few times.  I know exactly where I was sitting at the table eating a big bowl of this orzo. YOUNG TRACY FREAKING LOVED IT.

It wasn’t part of our regular meal routine (my dad was always watching carbs) so I always looked forward to this orzo dish coming up when my parents were entertaining.

The only thing I feel sad about is that I don’t remember what she served it with… Whatever it was, it was definitely overshadowed by the orzo.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Here’s something I definitely learned from my mom–

Entertaining doesn’t always have to mean you have to attempt something super complicated and fancy. Sometimes simple recipes that have stood the test of time are enough. That and a good conversation can help whoever you share a table with. 

Let’s gather ingredients:

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Crisp the pancetta & drain.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Add the pine nuts! Cook fast and drain. You want them lightly browned.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Orzo goes in next.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

We just want to kinda toss it in the oil.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

 

Now we’re ready to cook!

 

   Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

We add salt, pepper, and fresh oregano.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

We simmer covered until all of the broth is absorbed.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

The marriage of many beautiful things!

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Give it a good stir. Season with salt & pepper.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Scoop it into bowls. Good things are eaten out of bowls.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

Additions that are nice include lemon squeeze & maybe some fresh arugula.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

It’s both rich and light. The orzo makes it delicate and you’ll love all of the bits of pancetta and pine nuts speckled throughout.

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts - a delicious/easy to prepare dinner! Find the recipe on Shutterbean.com

It feels like a hug.

 

Orzo with Pancetta and Pine Nuts

.

serves 4

recipe from Nuts by Simon & Schuster

  • 4 oz. chopped pancetta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • lemon juice, for serving

Saute pancetta in olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

At the pine nuts that to the pan and sauté, stirring constantly, until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to drain. Add the orzo to the pan and sauté for about one minute, stirring constantly.

Add the broth, oregano, salt-and-pepper, then bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes until broth is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat. Return the pancetta and pine nuts to the pan. Toss and serve.

For a brighter note, squeeze lemon juice on top.

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  • Jane M

    I loved this post. I can tell it was written with ooooodles of love. In my opinion you are doing just great. Lots of ups and downs – I understand. Time – that’s my only words of wisdom. Take Care.

  • Kris

    Really lovely post and such a comforting recipe. Your mom was wise and a good cook, clearly.

  • Stephanie Haly

    Isn’t this why I cook for my children? So that when I am gone they will be able to nourish themselves in the way that I did? Thanks for this reminder.

  • Katie Sistek

    I love recipes like this. Not only does it sound delicious but they bring back warm memories along with it. I have a few recipes like this that remind me of my grandma who passed a few years ago. And when I make something that was definitely her recipe I feel her there in the kitchen with me and hope that she would be proud. May recipes like this one and memories you have of your mom comfort you and your family!

  • Preeti

    As others have echoed before me, this is a wonderful reminder of how food and cooking binds us all. Thanks! This just might be my first orzo dish. Hope you are well. 🙂

  • Margot

    I love how you included the picture of your mom’s old recipe! I just tried a sample of something similar at Nugget and it was very satisfying. I bet it would be good with an egg on top.

  • Jean

    I’ve got a lot of my Mom’s old recipes and I love how they transport me back in time, too. Hugs to you, Tracy.

  • Alex

    Such a loving tribute. I have to admit I laughed while looking at that photo of the original recipe clipping because the recipe comes from a cookbook called “Nuts”. I am a grown woman with a teenage boy sense of humor.

  • Lori

    Looks like a hug! Sometimes simple is the best. This looks really delicious, and I love seeing the original clipping. I think it would be neat for you to feature and post more of your mom’s recipes 🙂

  • April

    I made this last night for dinner guests (it felt very appropriate). Went wonderful with our Greek chicken. Thank you for posting it, everyone loved it & there were sadly no leftovers.

  • Ellen @ Cookware Diary

    No doubt that this is a completely new recipe for me. And look’s something interesting to try soon. 🙂

  • Ellen L.

    Tracy! Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been wanting to try a new recipe for a long time, but I’m just too lazy at the end of the work day. This was too simple (and quick) and too tasty-looking to pass up. I made it for dinner tonight and it’s a WIN. Pine nuts are hard to come by around these parts, so I substituted slivered almonds. Delicious! Thank you for sharing a sweet memory and treasured recipe.

  • pictaram

    Wow! I have never cooked pine nuts. This dish looks so good! I guess it’s time for trying something new. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • SeriouslyWhat

    This recipe is INSANE. Made it two nights ago and I’ve already shared it with a handful of friends. My fiance and I couldn’t even talk to each other while we ate – we just audibly ‘mmm’d’ the entire time.

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