We’re in love with this easy orzo pasta recipe. There’s quick-to-cook orzo, tomatoes, basil, parmesan and lots of garlic. Get this meal on the table in less than 20 minutes!
8 ounces dry orzo pasta, substitute with any pasta variety
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta
12 ounces tomatoes, chopped (2 medium or 12 to 15 cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the orzo and cook according to the package directions — usually 8 to 10 minutes. When the orzo is cooked, reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water (we use this to make the sauce) then drain the orzo.
Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the cooked orzo pasta, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Pour in two tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring often, for one minute. Over the minute, the sauce should begin to coat the pasta, if it seems dry, add a splash more of the reserved pasta water and cook a few more seconds. Taste for seasoning and adjust with a little salt if needed.
Serve with extra basil, parmesan and fresh ground black pepper on top.