Orzo with bacon and summer vegetables

This is one of the most summery dishes. It is so light yet so flavorful and delicious, perfect for all you pasta lovers out there! Easy to make and a nice way to substitute any other kind of pasta with orzo, it pairs so well with the rest of the ingredients. Enjoy it with a glass of wine!

Orzo with bacon and summer vegetables (adapted from Bev cooks)

4 strips bacon, cut into small chunks
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, finely diced
1 Tbs. lemon zest
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp freshly chopped sage
1 pinch crushed red or green pepper flakes
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
3 – 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 cup orzo
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh basil and parmesan cheese (optional but omg, do it)
Render the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crispy. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 Tbs. bacon fat. Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they start to soften, 4 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions, lemon zest, thyme and sage to the skillet. Season with the crushed pepper and a little salt. Sauté another minute, or until that mix is pretty fragrant. Add the tomatoes, broccoli and peas to the pan. The juice from the tomatoes will create a very light sauce, so you’ll simmer the mix until the veggies soften, 5 minutes. You may add a little water to help it along if you want! In the meantime, boil the orzo until al dente, just a few minutes. Reserve a few Tbs. of the pasta water and drain the rest. Add the bacon back to the pan. Add the cooked orzo to the pan and give everything a good toss. If you need to add a little pasta water for a little more “sauce,” go right ahead. Check the seasonings and garnish with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Dive on in.

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