Orzo with spinach, white beans and tomatoes for a pasta dish that can serve as a side or a vegetarian main. Excellent with a Cerasualo rosé wine from Abruzzo.
Orzo is one of my favorite pasta shapes, especially in the summer. The small size makes it a light accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes.
I often toss orzo with spinach and other veggies on hand. In this case, I used some of the same ingredients I had on hand for Pan Seared Tuna Steak with Olive Relish. This orzo with spinach, white beans and tomatoes made a nice side dish for the tuna.
Adding beans to orzo gives the pasta additional substance and nutrition. Although I served the orzo as a side, it could definitely be enjoyed as a vegetarian main too.
For another tasty idea of how to combine orzo and seafood, check out our Orzo with Grilled Swordfish and Kale Pesto recipe.
Making Orzo with Spinach and White Beans
In this orzo with spinach recipe, only the onions, bell pepper and garlic get cooked before adding it to the pasta. The other ingredients, including the spinach and white beans, get tossed with the cooked pasta right after it is drained. This gives the dish more of a salad quality to it, with some raw veggies, although it is served warm.
Wine Pairing for Orzo with Spinach
As I mentioned, I made this orzo to serve with Pan Seared Tuna Steak. I correctly anticipated the 2017 Le Murate Cerasualo d’Abruzzo ($15)from Fattoria Nicodemi would be a good pairing for this orzo with spinach as well as the tuna. Cerasaulo is a full-bodied rosé made from Montepulciano grapes.
The Cerasualo from Nicodemi is a good expression of this type of wine. Bright floral nose, with cherry fruit and a hint of citrus. A well-structured wine, with more substance than most rosés. But it still had enough nuance and flavor to work well with the orzo with spinach.
Nicodemi was the first winery I visited on a press trip to Abruzzo this spring. Brother and sister Elena and Alessandro have done a great job building on tradition at this family winery while growing their business. The winery is 300 meters above sea level and about 10 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, with views of the Gran Sasso Mountain on clear morning. They make wines using organic methods, producing some 200,000 bottles per year. Learn more about the winery at the Nicodemi website.Print
Orzo with Spinach and White Beans
Orzo tossed with spinach, white beans and tomatoes for a pasta dish that can serve as a side or a vegetarian main.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: side dish
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- 10 ozs orzo
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup diced tomatoes — fresh or canned, depending on season
- 6 olives, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 14.5 oz can of cannellini beans
- Begin boiling a pot of water for the orzo.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper to the skillet, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute until it become fragrant. Lower heat and cover skillet while the orzo cooks.
- Cook the orzo based on package instructions once the water starts boiling.
- When the orzo is cooked, drain and toss immediately with the remaining olive oil, the pepper and onion mixture, spinach and tomatoes. Stir over low heat to combine ingredients.
- Add the feta cheese, olives and parsley. Stir to combine, then serve.
Keywords: orzo recipes, orzo with spinach, orzo with beans