Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whole Wheat Orzo with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach

I found a bag of organic whole wheat orzo at my favorite natural foods store the other day and thought it would be great with some mushrooms and spinach. I threw this recipe together quickly, on one of the rainy, cool nights we have been having and it was the perfect healthy, comfort food dinner.

Whole-Wheat Orzo with Mushrooms and Baby Spinach
(Serves 2)

1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used an assortment from Costco)
3/4 cup hot water (just off a boil)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms (I used oyster, button and crimini)
2 cups whole wheat orzo or other pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 cups baby spinach 
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
freshly-grated Parmesan for garnish

Place dried mushrooms in a bowl, add 3/4 cup water, cover bowl and soak mushrooms for 15-20 minutes. Remove re-hydrated mushrooms and set aside, saving the water to add to sauce. Meanwhile, clean the fresh mushrooms and slice. Cook pasta according to package directions. Put olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Add all the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the water from the mushrooms and the spinach and cook another couple of minutes, until spinach is wilted. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Drain pasta and add it and the basil to the mushroom-spinach mixture, tossing to mix well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Place in a pasta bowl and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Healthy, earthy and delicious. The mushroom water gives the pasta a lot of flavor with no additional fat or oil. The whole wheat orzo has a great texture and gives you about 4g of dietary fiber which is double that of regular orzo. With the all of the vitamins and minerals in the spinach and mushrooms it makes for a great tasting pasta dinner that is really good for you. 


  1. Mmm, yummy....
    Please pass me my bowl.

  2. This looks so satisfying...and tasty.

  3. yummy, I've been eating some whole wheat pasta also, we must be on the same wavelength :)

  4. I've got some chantarelles that I need to use up, and this looks perfect. I hope that I can find some WW orzo for that extra health boost. Love this one!

  5. That's a big bowl of yum!! You make the healthiest comfort food! Really delicious!

  6. I've never seen whole wheat orzo, but I'm going to be on the lookout for it now!

  7. This looks so delicious, Deb! My kind of comfort food. I have been thinking of getting one of the big jugs of dehydrated mushrooms, so this will we be a great recipe to try them out in.

  8. This looks amazing! I love that you used a mixture of fresh mushrooms along with the dried. I might try this and add some grilled cherry tomatoes. Thanks for the inspiration!
    - Brittany

  9. Wholewheat orzo? Aren't you lucky! I love orzo - for some reason I think it tastes better than other pasta - but it is increasingly difficult to get and I have never seen a wholewheat version.

  10. Looks wonderful and so healthy too. I do hope that one of these days you plan on sharing a pasta wit Presto Pasta Nights.



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