Orzotto with pancetta & peas

Orzotto with pancetta & peas

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 6

Substitute rice for orzo pasta to make this risotto-style 'orzotto', packed with pancetta and peas. It makes a lovely and quick midweek meal for the family

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal518
  • fat10g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs73g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre9g
  • protein29g
  • salt2g


  • 150g diced pancetta



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g orzo
  • 1½ litres chicken stock
  • 500g frozen petit pois or peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • small bunch basil, leaves picked and shredded



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 75g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Put the pancetta in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat, add the onion along with a pinch of salt and fry in any leftover fat for 5 mins. Add the garlic and continue to fry for a further 3 mins.

  2. Increase the heat and stir in the orzo. Fry for 2 mins, stirring constantly, then pour in 500ml stock and bring to a simmer. Add more stock by the ladleful, stirring constantly, as the orzo absorbs the liquid (similar to cooking a risotto).

  3. After 5 mins, stir in the petit pois and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to add the remaining stock, stirring, as the mixture cooks. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through. Add the lemon zest and juice, basil, parmesan and fried pancetta. Season to taste, then cover and leave to rest for 2 mins. Serve with extra parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Dec, 2019
We love this recipe. It's a great one pan dish and so versatile. We mix it up to create different versions. Our favourites are prawns, asparagus and lemon and mushrooms, smoked pancetta with courgettes. Delicious!
30th Aug, 2019
made this last night and the only complaint (if it even is that) was that it was a very generous portion. I used the 500g of orzo as per the recipe but i think half that would have been enough for our family of 4 was delicious and will make it again
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Alessio Golfetto's picture
Alessio Golfetto
1st Apr, 2020
I think orzotto is made with pearl barley not orzo pasta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orzotto
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