Orzo with Peas, Bacon and Parmesan

My peas are a disaster this year. Usually my fail-safe crop at the allotment, they started off well but not enough water and too much sun meant that they were over far too soon, and instead of harvesting peas until the end of July, mine were all but done by the end of June. Luckily Riverford still have a good supply. Here is a recipe to pay homage to them before they are over for another year – Orzo with Bacon, Peas and Parmesan Cheese.

I always forget about Orzo.  It sort of has the texture of something between tiny Gnocchi and perfectly cooked rice – something I am still striving to achieve!  This recipe took me about 10 minutes to make from start to finish and made a fantastic family lunch.  Quicker and less fattening than Risotto, I most certainly will be using a lot more of it

Orzo with Peas, Bacon and Parmesan

2 Tablespoons olive oil

200g Streaky Bacon, cut in small lardons

150g orzo pasta

1 1/4 cup fresh peas

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Little Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Fry the bacon in a little oil, over a medium heat until really crispy.  Remove from the heat.  Cook the Orzo in plenty of salted, boiling water.  If using fresh peas, add after about 3 minutes, if using frozen peas, add after about 6 minutes.  Bring back to the boil and cook for about 6-7 minutes in total.  Drain when cooked and add to the bacon.  Use the oil from the bacon to coat the pasta and add the Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.  Garnish with young pea shoots if you have any.

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