My vegetable garden got off to a late start this year because I was in India during the spring when I'd have normally started working on it. As a result, it is only in the past couple of weeks that I have been able to start picking some deliciously ripe cherry tomatoes from my plants (the ones that the squirrels and birds miss, that is).
Growing cherry tomatoes is gratifying because the plants produce so much fruit. I take a cupful of these grape-sweet beauties to eat with my lunch almost every day now. And I am always trying to find ways to add them to the recipes I cook.
Last night, with not much time left on hand after walking the dogs and running a couple of errands, I debated between ordering out and throwing something together that would take me less than half an hour. Eating in won, and that was because I knew I had on hand some orzo pasta and a basketful of just-picked cherry tomatoes that could be rustled together into a tasty and nutritious meal.
Orzo is one of Desi's favorite pastas, because, I suspect, it looks a lot like rice which is his favorite food in the world. It is also quick-cooking because of its tiny size -- a boon for the busy cook.
The pasta sauce is extra simple but also extra flavorful: extra virgin olive oil, tons of garlic and pepper. The cherry tomatoes and a handful of fresh basil, also from my garden, provide even more flavor and freshness.
Looking for more pasta recipes?
Orzo Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Vegan Mozzarella
Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes
- Cook the orzo al dente according to package instructions and drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan.
- Add the garlic slices and stir for about a minute until they are just very lightly brown. Do not burn them!
- Add the black pepper and stir for a few seconds, then add the orzo. Stir it well to coat with the flavored oil.
- Turn off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Salt to taste. Toss and serve immediately!
- It's as simple as that.
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