Cheesy roasted vegetable orzo
Who knew you guys liked your vegetables so much?! My summer vegetable pasta in garlic butter sauce has ended up being one of my most popular recipes. I have no doubt that the garlic butter had a small part to play, but hopefully the veg did too, because here’s another vegetable-packed recipe – cheesy roasted vegetable orzo. It’s essentially macaroni cheese, except it uses orzo instead of normal pasta, and has tons of added veg. I love macaroni cheese, but it can get a bit samey, since every bite is pretty much the same. This version is a lot more interesting, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of flavour that the roasted veg adds – woody roasted mushrooms, sweet and juicy roasted tomatoes, meaty roasted aubergine…
Of course you could use any shape of pasta you like for this dish, I just thought orzo was pretty. You could also switch up the veg a bit if you have other things to use. I used quite a few different vegetables, but only used about half of each. I personally like this, because now I have lots left to make other things with later in the week, but if you’d like this meal to be a little more economical, you could always use larger quantities of fewer vegetables. Or, you know, just double up the recipe and eat twice as much.
I’m kind of starting to think in autumn mode now that the sun isn’t shining as consistently as it was back in June and July. I keep having to tell myself that no, it’s not quite time for pumpkin everything and warming stews just yet. Is there anything in particular you’d like to see in the last few weeks of the summer? Otherwise the autumn dishes are bound to appear prematurely.
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 100g white mushrooms
- 1/2 courgette
- 1/2 aubergine
- 1/2 yellow pepper
- 2tbsp oil
- 1/2tsp dried oregano
- 175g orzo
- 10g butter
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 150ml milk
- Pinch nutmeg
- Black pepper
- 50g cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
- Halve the cherry tomatoes, and chop the mushrooms into 2cm chunks. Cut all the other vegetables into 1cm pieces. Toss all the vegetables in the oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Lay in a single layer on a baking tray, and roast for around an hour, stirring once halfway.
- When the vegetables have been roasting for about half an hour, you can begin to prepare the rest of the dish. Boil the orzo according to the instructions on the packet – it is small, so shouldn’t take long. Use plenty of water and stir regularly to prevent clumping.
- Melt the butter in a pan, and add the flour. Cook over a very low heat for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the milk a dash at a time, and continue whisking to make a smooth mixture before adding more. Add a pinch of nutmeg and season to taste. Finally, when you have a smooth, fairly thin sauce, add the grated cheese and stir again until it has all melted and the sauce is smooth once again.
- When ready, combine the cooked orzo and the roasted vegetables with the cheese sauce, and mix well. Serve warm.