I love barley, especially in winter, when those nutty, wholesome grains call to me with a song of nourishment, fortification and cosiness. I’m even more focused on barley at the moment because China has slapped an 80% tariff on Australian barley imports. I thought we better help the farmers by eating A LOT of barley.
Orzo is Italian for ‘barley’ and when you make a risotto with it, it’s called orzotto. It’s a specialty of the north-eastern part of Italy close to Venice. I file orzotto in the ‘fun to say’ camp along with poke, furikake and genfo (also made with barley, by the way!)
Orzo also means a very short pasta that is shaped like barley – this recipe uses the actual grain, not the pasta named after the grain. Hope that’s clear!
Orzotto is as versatile as risotto so think of this as a base recipe that you can adapt, just as you would risotto. It’s a great ‘bottom of the fridge’ meal.
Time: 45 minutes