Veganuary might be over but meat-free cooking is here to stay. This incredible, decadent and just scrumptious butternut orzo from Ben Lebus’ cookbook ‘MOB Veggie’ is a Pavilion favourite, and is an amazing meal for those cold winter evenings.
by Ben Lebus
The ooziest orzo about – the perfect autumn warmer. The Basil and the goat’s cheese really freshen the dish up so don’t skip either of them. Also, when you first roast your butternut squash, you don’t want it to get brown and charred. Just soft. So keep an eye on it.
2 butternut squash
Vegetable stock (bouillon) cube
500 g (3 scant cups) dried orzo pasta
Salt and pepper
01. Preheat your oven to 180C fan (200C/400F/Gas Mark 6).
02. De-seed, peel and cut your butternut squash into cubes, and place in a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with
salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until soft.
03. Remove the squash when it’s soft from the oven. Place three quarters in a blender. Place the remainder back in the oven until brown and caramelized, then remove and set aside.
04. Add a vegetable stock cube and 550 ml (2. cups) of water into the blender. Blitz. You want quite a loose pure consistency.
05. Get a large frying pan (skillet) over the heat. Add 1 chopped garlic clove with a splash of olive oil. Once softened, pour in
the squash pure. Mix it about, and then add the orzo.
06. Keep mixing the orzo about, and pouring in splashes of water until the orzo has cooked through and resembles a loose, oozy risotto. At this point, add your remaining caramelized squash, and a handful of chopped basil (leave some whole leaves to garnish). Mix it all together and turn off the heat.
07. Add large dollops of goat’s cheese on to the orzo, sprinkle over some grated Parmesan, scatter on the reserved whole basil leaves and serve with a final drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!