Risoni (Orzo) Bake

Rustic Dinners

Tonight I changed my mind at least three times about what we were going to have for dinner. I fell asleep after I got home from work and my daughter had a driving lesson and didn’t get home until 7:15pm. I still hadn’t decided and it was getting late. I was just through telling my partner that it looked like a bacon and egg dinner when I spied the packet of risoni in the pantry.

I usually make this as a soup or in the oven with roast lamb but as it was late and the bacon was already out I decided to go rustic and bake this in the oven with chunks of onion and bacon. I used beef stock and tomato paste with thyme and oregano. A handful of freshly grated parmesan and everyone was satisfied.


2 cups risoni (orzo)

1 large onion, chopped

4 rashes bacon, chopped

2 tbsn tomato paste

4 cups beef stock

2 cups boiled water (from the kettle)

1 tspn oregano

thyme sprigs


Brown onions in large pan that can also go straight in the oven. Add bacon and continue to brown.

Add risoni and coat well with the onions and bacon.

Add boiling water, beef stock, tomato paste and herbs. Stir through.

Place in preheated 160C oven. You will need to check this as the risoni soaks up the stock quickly. Add more boiling water if needed. This should take around 15 – 20 mins to cook.

Spoon into bowls and top with grated parmesan. I like lots of parmesan on mine as well as garlic bread.


Reluctant Pasta Night

I have to make Pasta and I don’t want to!

Monday night’s dinner was a wonderful Sirloin steak, cauliflower and broccolini baked with creme fraiche and just because I felt like it, I added Yorkshire Puddings with gravy. I also had lots of ‘Tsoureki’ (Greek Easter Bread) left over so I made a bread and butter pudding with it and we had that for dessert with cream.  It was cold and for once I was home early enough from work to make a substantial Monday night dinner. It really was delicious and also meant I was able to have a steak sandwich for lunch the next day.

Now, for the past week I have had a bit of a craving for Chicken and Leek Pie and was determined to make that tonight. My Tuesday night meeting had been cancelled and would once again be home with enough time on my hands to relax with a coffee, put on my pj’s and make this wonderful pie.

I was met with objections from every direction. I was astounded! HOW and WHY does one turn down pie?

Both my partner and daughter want pasta for dinner! I don’t get it! I’m prepared to come home and bake a scrumptious pie for them and they want the plainest pasta you could ever ask for.

Do they want Bolognese? No! Do they want Cabonara? No! Marinara maybe? Stop It! No!

They want spaghetti with a burnt butter and plain old tomato paste sauce – well, it’s not even a sauce, it’s more like a coating.

My mum used to make this for me a lot when I was a kid. Once your Spaghetti is done, you place a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan and wait for it to turn a beautiful nutty colour. Then you add a heaped tablespoon of tomato paste and swirl through the butter for about a minute, just enough to get rid of that raw tomato paste taste. Pour into the spaghetti pot and stir through. It just coats the spaghetti with a buttery/tomato flavour. Top it with a good parmesan cheese and shovel in.

It is wonderful but I still want pie!

In protest I am posting the photo of last night’s dinner and dessert instead!