Creamy Orzo "Risotto" with Butternut Squash

With this being a perfect recipe for Meatless Mondays, I really should have posted this yesterday, but I was on the road for most of the afternoon, and then really didn’t feel like doing much of anything once I got back to Bmore.  So here it is, a bit late.  This is another Weight Watchers recipe, and I’ve modified it slightly.

Although the original title of the recipe indicates that it’s a risotto, it really isn’t.  But it’s a good, far less labor intensive mock risotto.

You’ll need:

Cooking spray
1 small-medium butternut squash, cubed
1/2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet or two with foil and spray the foil with the cooking spray.  Put your cubed squash and olive oil in a gallon zip top bag.  Season with salt and pepper.  Seal the bag and toss everything around until the squash is well coated.

Put the squash on the baking sheet(s) in a single, even layer.  Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through until the squash is tender and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic.  Sautee until the onion is translucent.  Add the orzo.  Stir constantly until the orzo begins to smell toasty.  Add the water, broth, and thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Stir occasionally.

Stir in the cheese and roasted squash.  Season well with salt and pepper.

It’s really nice and creamy, despite not having to go through the whole ordeal of constant stirring.  The saltiness of the cheese and sweetness of the squash contrast with one another nicely.  Enjoy! 

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