Simple Quintessential Cuisine

Creamy Orzo with Smoky Bacon and Vegetables

The Easter weekend is fast approaching, and this year we will be away visiting my sister and her family instead of hosting them, as has been our tradition in recent years.  Whenever we go away for any length of time I scour the fridge to see what I might possibly be able to use as I hate the idea of food wasting away in the fridge with no one to eat it. I found a yellow pepper, bacon, and some scallions that looked as if they’d seen better days, so I decided to pull a casserole together. I always say it’s amazing what delectable creations you can concoct with a quick inventory of your fridge, pantry or freezer.  Admittedly there are many instances when it doesn’t work out as I’d hoped, but happily today wasn’t one of them! What really makes this dish is the smoky bacon paired up with the cheese as both give exceptional flavor to the pasta.  This is certainly suitable as a main dish, but it would also be great paired alongside a favorite pork or chicken dish.

You will need…
9 slices smoky bacon
1 yellow pepper diced into small pieces
½ C scallions, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves finely minced
2 cups mushrooms sliced thin
3 eggs, beaten
1 C whole milk
½ C light cream
1 lb orzo pasta
1 C frozen peas
2 C fresh grated Romano cheese
Olive oil
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 then lightly grease a medium-sized casserole. While that’s preheating fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Sliced the bacon into 1” pieces and get them into a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon until it’s nice and crispy but not burned.
Remove the bacon from the pan (leaving the fat) and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. To the same pan add the peppers and mushrooms, stirring frequently for about 6-7 minutes and then add the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside. 



Next whisk the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
When the water comes to boil season with a generous pinch of salt and add the pasta. 
Important ….you don’t want the pasta to cook all the way through. Instead cook just long enough so that there is still some bite to it (about 5 minutes).  When the pasta is done pour into a strainer and transfer to a large bowl. Then add reserved bacon vegetable mixture, frozen peas, egg and cream and 1 ½ cups of the cheese and mix well. 
Pour into your prepared casserole and top with remaining cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top becomes slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Comments     + Add a Comment
Susan Lindquist says:

Pretty darn good plate for emptying the fridge! Good job … now, did you guys eat the whole thing? Or are there leftovers back in that fridge!? Happy Easter!

Richard says:

This looks wonderful. I will have to "lighten" it up for me, but I will be trying this when I get back from NYC. I reciprocated with flowing you blog as well! Great stuff on here and looks great Holly!

Kelly says:

This looks delicious! I actually have some orzo on hand I've been wanting to use, I'll have to try this! So glad to be your newest follower! :)

Brindusa says:

Hello. Thank you for following my blog and for your nice comment. Nice blog you have. I will continue to visit you.

Mary says:

This is such a wonderful dish.It looks delicious and I know I'd enjoy this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

Epicurean Mom says:

Mmmmmmm, this looks delicious! I'll definitely make this very soon! Thanks for following me and stopping by my blog! I'm your newest follower! :)

Holly Henry says:

Thanks to all for your kind comments. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Susan – we did have some leftovers after dinner, but luckily my husband is a leftover lover so he took the rest with him to work for lunch :)

Thanks you all for visiting and do come again:)


Rachel says:

This looks tasty! I love fresh veggies, and I think this is a great way to deliver them that my family might eat! Food is my passion so I know how it feels to savor the time you get to experiment and experience new things! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

Jenny @ Savour the Senses says:

This looks delicious! I love how colorful it is! =) Thanks for sharing

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