Orzo Pasta Salad

orzo pasta salad

My summer orzo pasta salad is guaranteed to bring sunshine and smiles to you and all your friends, Santa Barbara style. Hi, my name is Kira Volpi and this is one of my easy pasta dishes that is healthy, beautiful and delicious!

When my girl friend invited Jeff and I to go out and visit her and her fiancé Michael for his birthday party she asked me if I would make one of my delicious pasta salads for the party. How do you say "no" to a request like that? Not that I would ever turn down an opportunity to make pasta for the people I love anyway.

Grace just moved to Santa Barbara in a beautiful area called Hope Ranch. Many of the people going to the party were new acquaintances and it was Michaels birthday so I wanted to make something really spectacular but keep it simple so I could have a little fun as well.

Orzo is a little bite sized past shape and very easy to eat with a spoon. That matched with a bunch of chopped, local and organic Santa Barbara vegetables, some sun dried tomatoes, some of Graces home grown lemons and we have got a beautiful blend of ingredients to make an simple and easy Italian pasta recipe.

Orzo Pasta Salad Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb of Orzo pasta
  2. 1 head of radicchio, drizzled with Olive Oil and grilled
  3. 2 whole cucumbers, seeded and strip peeled.
  4. 2 ripe tomatoes, cubed
  5. 4oz jar of sun dried tomatoes with oil
  6. 1 bunch Italian parsley
  7. the zest of one lemon
  8. Olive oil
  9. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  10. Salt and Pepper to taste

Orzo Pasta Salad Cooking Instructions:

I use the term cooking when I should say creating. There isn't really a lot of cooking involved when you're making this orzo pasta salad, which is ideal when you're “creating” in the summer.

I do cook the pasta al dente, which doesn't take much time for an orzo pasta shape. Five minutes from the time the water starts to boil and that is plenty. Drain it off and rinse in cold water until cool. Drizzle with Olive oil and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to add all the other ingredients.

I cut the radicchio in quarters and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Then give it to one of the guys manning the BBQ and have them grill them for just a few moments. It should be slightly charred on the edges.

To stripe and seed a cucumber, I know I should have taken a picture of this, you take a peeler and peel one stripe down the length of the cucumber then leave a small area green with the skin down the length of the cucumber and so on. Then cut the cucumber in half and with a spoon, scoop out the seeds in the center. Now cut into small cubes.

I like to chop the sun dried tomatoes into tiny pieces. They have such a strong flavor so I'm not crazy about big chunky pieces in my Italian pasta salads. Save the oil from the jar. It's so delicious and adds a great smokey flavor to the orzo pasta salad.

Chop the rest of your ingredients and take out the orzo pasta from the refrigerator. Toss all the ingredients together. Add the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and a little of olive oil if you like. Salt and pepper to your liking and there you go.

I'm happy to say that everyone loved it and the bowl was cleaned empty by the guests. A success all around.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this orzo pasta salad I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.

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