Easy “Baby Pasta” Risotto

 In 5 Healthy Meals Webinar, carbohydrates, Fibre, Kid-Friendly, Protein, Recipes

For as long as long as I can remember, Monday night has been pasta night.

This came about for a couple reasons: Monday being the somewhat dreary day it is, needed a supper meal that was satisfying but not finicky.

Also, Meatless Monday was easily met with a nice pasta meal paired with homemade tomato sauce (that recipe another time).

Now last week was a bit different being the long weekend. Monday took on a whole new connotation, as on most long weekends, reaping the benefits of being a holiday! Woo! Alright Monday!

And even though it’s a fairly strict holiday in terms of stores being open, I can always count on my local Foodland to be open (LCBO and all!)

Since I wasn’t feeling up to grocery shopping this weekend, Hubby stopped on his way home to get what he could at our quaint little shoppe and I was pleasantly surprised when he was able to get almost everything we needed for this Easy Baby Pasta Risotto.

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I do love our respectable – albeit somewhat small – grocery store as it does not have an overwhelming number of choices. Of course, that means it won’t always have what I need.

Update June 2016: So happy that I now have the fresh basil to go this dish! Any excuse to use my basil 🙂

This recipe originally came from a Today’s Parents magazine and was ripped out and quickly added to the recipe repertoire. Simple ingredients come together to make this dish a no-brainer for busy weeknights when you just wanna eat and get on with it.

Psst: That was the theme for my recent webinar: 5 Healthy and Easy Meals. Check it out on my YouTube channel here.

easy baby pasta risotto

And, somewhat surprisingly, Toddler tried it and loved it! He wouldn’t try it last time we had it but this time he did.

That’s why we call it “baby pasta” which helped a lot.

He thought it was quite an amusing name….

This dish has quickly become a family favourite and a go-to when we are sick of pasta.

Packed with protein, healthy carbs and fibre, make this once and I promise your family will want it to become part of the regular weekday recipe repertoire.

If you haven’t already, be sure to try orzo pasta in soups or as a side – a nice change up instead of rice in any dish.

~April

easy baby pasta risotto

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup sodium-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup light pearl bocconcini
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1-2 cups of baby spinach or kale/spinach ice cubes – watch me make Kale Ice cubes here.

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium. Add oil, then orzo and garlic. Cook for 1 min. Pour in broth, tomato juice and water. Cook, stirring often, until orzo has absorbed most of the liquid, 10 to 12 min. Risotto should be slightly saucy but not soupy
  2. Stir in Parmesan and tomato. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in pearl bocconcini and basil just before serving.
  4. For extra nutrition, stir in 1-2 cups of baby spinach or a few kale ice cubes just before serving

Notes

Calories 360 Fat 10g Saturated Fat 2g Carbs 55g Fibre 4g Protein 24g Sodium 300mg

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