Saturday, December 8, 2007

Holiday Pasta

This is a good, simple pasta side dish. No bells and whistles, but delicious none the less and easy to make. It pairs nicely with any type meat or fish, but is especially good with roast beef, duck or chicken.

½ cup sliced, raw almonds
1 cup dry orzo (rice shaped) pasta
Bouillon cubes (beef cubes if serving with beef or duck, chicken or veg cubes if serving with anything else)
2 tablespoons butter
Chopped parsley-- optional

1) Start the pasta water by adding enough bouillon cubes to a large pot of water to make a flavorful stock (follow package directions for specific amounts). While the stock is coming to a boil, toast the almonds.

2) To toast the almonds: Pour them into a large, non-stick saute pan and place over medium heat. You must stay close to the stove as nuts can burn fast. Move the pan and the almonds every minute or two, so that they cook evenly on all sides. When they start to become just lightly golden, remove them from the pan immediately-- the oil in the nuts will continue to cook them.

3) Boil the orzo in the stock until done (following package directions). Drain, toss with butter and toasted almonds. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if you like, for color. Serve hot.

Makes 4 side servings

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