Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheezy Orzo with Veg

Oh my: another flu? We're tired of getting sick here at Martini Central. We threw this together using some stuff in the pantry and found it rather soothing.

1/2 cup Orzo pasta

1 cup frozen, chopped Spinach
1/2 cup frozen Mixed Vegetables (we used a Bell Pepper Medley)

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Dash of Granulated Garlic
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper

3/4 cup Milk (we had 1% on hand)
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

3/4 cup grated Cheese (we used Pepper Jack)

- Make the pasta: bring water to a boil, add salt, boil until it is done (when you bite it, it should be slightly firm in the center)
- When pasta is done: add Spinach and Vegetables and wait until water comes back to a boil. Drain.
- While pasta and veg are draining: wipe out the pot and, over medium-high heat, add butter - when it melts and has finished foaming, add flour, salt, ground pepper, and garlic. Stir until the flour becomes a very pale brown.
- Add Mustard and Milk - continue cooking until it thickens.

- Take pot off heat. Stir in grated cheese, mixture should be smooth and dreamy. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
- Mix in drained pasta and veg.

- BONUS: put everything into a small, oven-safe dish, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top, and bake in a 350-degree oven until the top is brown.

- Best enjoyed on the sofa, watching TV.