Foodie Friday: Orzo Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Colavita-Orzo-482-finalLooking for a go-to side that’s easy to make, looks great and will be loved by family or guests? Start with orzo, the tiny pasta shape that looks a lot like rice but is truly pasta.

What is Orzo?

Orzo means “barley” in Italian and is often seen in soups, salads or as a substitute to Arborio rice. This versatile pasta is perfect for side dishes when mixed with vegetables, cheese and/or garnished with herbs or toasted nuts.

One company that produces authentic Italian orzo is Colavita. The Colavita Pasta company was founded in 1912 in the small hilltop town of Sant’Elia a Pianisi, in Molise, Italy a region where the rolling hills are still today covered by golden fields of wheat.

The people of Molise continue to revere the craft of pasta making to this day. It’s in this spirit that the Colavita family continues to draw upon the resources of their homeland to produce pasta using only 100% durum wheat semolina and fresh mountain spring water with no salts or artificial ingredients added.

Mediterranean Diet Recipe

If you follow the Mediterranean Diet, you will love this recipe which is a beautiful mixture of roasted vegetables, olive oil and nuts along with the pasta. An interesting flavor that adds a special note to this recipe is the olive oil dressing made in the vinaigrette style which uses white wine vinegar and mustard.

Enjoy as a side to grilled chicken, lamb shish kebab or as is for a vegetarian dish.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Feta Cheese and Pine Nuts
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Roasted Vegetables:

1 small zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small yellow squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ green or red pepper, diced
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil


1 cup Colavita Orzo
1 tablespoon Colavita extra virgin olive oil


3 tablespoons Colavita extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Colavita Prosecco White Wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard


¼ cup feta cheese
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss vegetables with olive oil. Spread out on large cooking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until starting to brown, stirring and turning vegetables over half way through.

Bring 4 quarts water to boil. Add orzo, 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, whisk dressing ingredients together.

Toss vegetables, orzo and dressing together.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with feta cheese, pine nuts and chopped basil.

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