Wish Upon A Dish: Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Orzo Salad ♥ National Pasta Association - "Pasta Fits" Campaign

October 12, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Orzo Salad ♥ National Pasta Association - "Pasta Fits" Campaign

There is a side dish at my favorite Italian restaurant that is soooo good I order the same meal every time we eat there.

How many times have you eaten something that inspires you to run home and recreate?
When the Recipe Redux forwarded our next sponsored recipe contest, I couldn't have been happier. This was it, the chance to finally nail that dish but make it healthier because we all know, restaurants best friends are salt and butter.
Did you know it is also National Pasta Month?

"By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time." 

After six tries, The Nudge gave me the thumbs up and actually proclaimed it had more flavor than the original. Always the pessimist, I thought I might have missed something but than I realized that I added more vegetables, ones that were high on flavor, to the pasta, instead of the other way around.
They have to make money, I could be generous.

Seriously loaded with flavor, easy to prepare and extremely healthy by side dish standards.

Did you know that a pasta dinner, complete with the addition of vegetables and/or a lean protein can be enjoyed by all, so I know you are wondering. How do I handle my pasta consumption with Diabetes? The American Diabetes Association recommends no more than 2 ounces dried pasta per serving.
Want in on a little secret? Orzo is one of those pastas (like angel hair, and fusilli) that cooks to more than 3x it's dried weight, so it easily satisfies your hunger at what might seem small at only2 ounces. Add all these great vegetables and chicken or shrimp and you have a power house dish.

Pasta is a must for those on a budget and besides feeding an army on a box, I know no one who does not love pasta.

Next time you need a covered dish for a pot luck, triple the recipe and be a star!!
A seriously easy dish that you could serve at a dinner party but tastes like you ordered take out!!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Orzo
makes 4 cups
* 1 cup dried orzo pasta
* 1 tablespoon salt for pasta water
* 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, your choice (oil packed or dried)
* 1/4 head radicchio, thinly shredded
* 1 cup torn raw baby spinach, about 2 cups whole
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon capers, minced
* 1 small shallot, minced
* salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.
2. In the same pot, add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon olive oil, reserved pasta cooking water, garlic and shallot. Saute until you smell the garlic. Add the radicchio and the spinach and cook until they just wilt. Drop in the tomatoes, the capers and the orzo. Stir to combine and right before serving, add the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Taste for seasonings and make adjustments.

Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week. Return to room temperature before serving.



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