- 1 lb of Orzo Pasta (or other small pasta shape like dittalini or elbows)
- The rind of 1 lemon (removed from lemon with a peeler)
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- Kosher Salt
- Bring 2.5 quarts of water and lemon rind strips to a boil in a medium-large pot. Salt the water until it tastes as salty as soup. When the water boils, remove the lemon peels from the water using a spider, and discard them.
- Add a pound of orzo and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Use instructions on the box as a guide, and start tasting after 6 minutes so you don't overcook the orzo.
- Once al dente, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water then dump the orzo through a colander. Return orzo to the pot, add the butter, reserved pasta water, and fresh nutmeg, and stir for about 1 minute. This step helps create a starchy creamy sauce while also cooling down the pasta. This way the cheese, which is added in the next step, doesn't clump.
- Quickly stir in the parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt (to taste) If your pasta water is salty enough, you may not need to add salt.
- Serve alongside your favorite protein or vegetable and enjoy!
Keywords: parmesan orzo recipe