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Baked Orzo with Mozzarella and Oregano

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Ingredients:Baked Orzo

  • 7 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into ¾” dice
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stocks, diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 9 oz.orzo pasta, rinsed
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 2/3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 oz firm mozzarella, cut into ¼ “ dice
  • 6 ½ tbsp. grated Parmesan
  • 3 medium tomatoes cut into slices
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add eggplant and cook for 8 minutes, stirring until golden brown. Remove from pot and drain on paper towel

2. Add carrots and celery to the pan and fry for 8 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel. Turn down heat to medium

3. Add onion and garlic (you may need to add a little oil at this point). Cook 5 minutes stirring often. Add orzo and tomato paste, stirring often for 2 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from heat, add stock, oregano and lemon zest. Add cooked vegetables, and cheeses, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Mix well and transfer to a large baking dish. Arrange tomatoes slices on top and sprinkle with dried oregano, salt and pepper.

5. Bake covered 30 minutes and uncovered ten minutes more. Remove from oven and let settle 5 minutes before serving.

Great served with a lovely Sweetwater salad.

Adapted from “Plenty More” by Yotam Ottolenghi

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