This Creamy Fall Orzo Will Please Anyone Who Loves a Cozy Porridge

Dec 03, 2021 · 55 comments
KCO (Denver)
I made this immediately. Will add it to the rotation. I always up the herbs and spices in recipes. In this case more fresh sage and red pepper flakes. Next time I'll try smaller cubes for the squash. 3/4 inch seemed a little large to me. I enjoyed the orzo, and will stick with it. Some here in the comments have suggested other options.
Passion for Peaches (left coast)
Butternut squash can be quite cloying in flavor. I often use kabocha squash these days, instead. It’s still a sweet fleshed squash, but the flavor is more complex than butternut. I love the texture, too. This looks good, but I’d be tempted to add something to give it some depth. Mushrooms?
Rachel (Chicago)
If I wanted to substitute the orzo for farro how much more liquid and cooking time is needed?
Vito Fabbrizio (Berkeley)
For the wine I would highly recommend the Malvasia. It pairs perfectly with squash given the aromatic flavor, good sugar residual and strong aromatic nose. Look for Malvasia Candia Aromatica white wines.
Ronnie Hess (Madison, WI)
Big hit at dinner last night. Recipe works well cut in half. I used homemade turkey broth. Next time I will try substituting orange for the lemon.
Alyce (Wa)
Gently, NYT should not describe a recipe in detail and then restrict access to the Cooking app. I already pay enough to subscribe to the NYT. I get that NYT is trying to drum up customers for the Cooking app, but this is just cruel. And what do most of us do? I bet most readers do as I do-- Google for a similar recipe elsewhere.
Alyce (Pnw)
It should be that readers can see the recipe described in the article. Then when we look at it, have a banner that says “love this recipe? Sign up for the Cooking app to see more!” That would be a more civilized approach.
Joseph Graf (Washington, D.C.)
@Alyce I could not agree more. I pay a lot for my NYT subscription, and this is just click-bait to get me to pay more.
Paola (Los Angeles)
Orzo means barley in italian, what is this recipe about? barley or so-called orzo shaped pasta? lt reminds me of american tourists in Italy asking for a latte intending to get a cup of coffee and getting a glass of milk instead. Time to pay attention to meaning of foreign words.
squeakalicious (Washington DC)
@Paola And orichette means little ears in Italian. I don't think people expect a plate full of kids' ears.
Paola (Los Angeles)
actually it is Orecchiette.
Passion for Peaches (left coast)
@squeakalicious, nor is one ever served a bowl full of pens when one orders penne. Or actual wagon wheels when one orders rotelle.
Blake Jeffery (St Petersburg)
It’s ridiculous that I pay to access a story entirely about a recipe and then I’m asked to pay again to actually see the recipe. Featured stories about recipes should include a recipe.
Elizabeth (Miami)
Really delicious. I omitted the ricotta and it was very rich and delicious vegetarian dish.
Martine (Texas)
Butternut squash is the new kale I guess...why put it in everything?
KF (Washington, DC)
@Martine Because a lot of people think it tastes delicious? Why not?
Chris (Hillsborough)
This is fantastic recipe! Everybody love it! I'm going to make it again this weekend. Thanks!
Howard (Savannah)
I'll make this but without the butter and cheese.
Beaunehead (Austin)
Every time I see the word 'creamy' in a recipe title I immediately stop reading it.
Independent Observer (Texas)
@Beaunehead I usually stop when I read "Texture Like Sandpaper," but that's just me.
Eela Thakrar (Bthlehem)
wonder if this could be transformed into a dessert ?
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Eela Thakrar Were you thinking perhaps along the lines of an orzo soufflé or orzo custard pie? I'm game for anything once.
Eela Thakrar (Bthlehem)
@Marge Keller will try adapting into a halwa consistency with sugar, whole milk and cardamom and a touch of saffron, sprinkle with sliced almonds. Off course no allium, herbs, broth and parmesan. Will let you know
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Eela Thakrar Thanks much. Would love to read how the final product turned out.
Karen Lee (Washington, DC area)
“ Winter root vegetables, like butternut squash, often have a sweetness that makes them a natural fit with chardonnay.” Squash isn’t a root vegetable. It isn’t even a vegetable.
david terry (hillsborough, north carolina)
@Karen Lee yes, indeed.....I was wondering if this lady had ever actually set foot in a garden. "....'Winter root...GOOD! 'sweetness'...GOOD!...'natural fit'...GOOD!". Now,let's just shove them all into one, foodie sentence. Mother finds this disheartening. Sincerely, David Terry .....who would gladly go to his grave without ever again having to read about "caramelizing" or "umammi" (sp? I don't care) in every other sentence of ever other article. It all seems very ignenrt to me.
Carmine (Michigan)
@david terry, “umami” is just meat-taste. It’s a good warning for the kind of vegetarians who don’t like meat to leave it out.
Passion for Peaches (left coast)
@Karen Lee, either the copy editor has fixed it, or you copied it incorrectly. Now says “hearty winter vegetables.” But even so…the sentence you typed still makes sense, in a backhanded way, because of the commas. Juggle it around and see why: Winter root vegetables often have a sweetness that… Like butternut squash, winter vegetables often have a sweetness that… Winter root vegetables, like butternut squash, often have a sweetness that…
Marjorie Summons (Greenpoint)
I love a hearty, meatless meal with cozy blustery evening wind whipping at the browning butter in the butternut squash with the creamy texture that's soft and moundable.
david terry (hillsborough, north carolina)
@Marjorie Summons "......with cozy blustery evening wind whipping at the browning butter in the butternut squash". Are you still eating/cooking outside at this time of the year?...... Just wondering, david terry
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@david terry No, I don't think so. But perhaps Marjorie has a kitchen window open to further enjoy the whipping of the wind . . . Just being sassy. I LOVE her sense of humor on so many levels.
beth (princeton)
@Marge Keller She is the Food Section troll in residence.
Paul (Brooklyn)
Love Italian food but was never big on orzo. When you said lots of warm brown butter to add even more calories I said to myself stick to spaghetti with meat sauce which is one of my favorites. Also penne with bits of sausage and dice greens is near the top for me too.
Ronnie Hess (Madison, WI)
I used olive oil and the recipe did not suffer from going without butter
Passion for Peaches (left coast)
@Paul, I lived in Italy for a long while, and the only dish I recall seeing orzo used in was a soup. It’s a great pasta for that kind of recipe, but it doesn’t have enough texture or substance, in my opinion, to be used in the same way as a chunky pasta like ziti or penne. This Times squash recipe falls somewhere between soup and a sauced pasta. Honestly, I’m tempted to try this using barley. More of a toothy texture.
Son Of Liberty (nyc)
Cooking with lots of Butter has some advantages because it contains saturated and trans fats, both of which may increase your bad cholesterol. However, if you are underweight, cooking with lots of Butter can help you catch up to the 74 percent of adults in the United States who are overweight, and the 43 percent of these who are obese. There must be a healthier version of this meal.
Charlie (Miami)
@Son Of Liberty if you only eat something like this once in a blue moon, nothing will happen! Everything in moderation.
Thanks, mom. Just once?
Tuvw Xyz (Evanston, Illinois)
Immanu El, God with us! I can hardly believe my eyes reading Melissa Clark's praise of porridge, food for the babes and seniors without teeth.
@Tuvw Xyz , you never fail to crack me up.
Tuvw Xyz (Evanston, Illinois)
@ AB IL Thank you, perhaps this is my only redeeming feature as a humble reader of Food Section. :--))
Denis (CA)
@Tuvw Xyz that ain’t your mommy’s porridge
mjbarr (Burdett, NY)
"Winter root vegetables, like butternut squash, often have a sweetness that makes them a natural fit with chardonnay." I hate to say this but isn't butternut squash a fruit and not a root vegetable?
Annessey (Girl from the North Country)
In botany, it is technically considered a fruit, however, most culinary cuisine use term root vegetable. Hope that helps a bit.
RJ (Grand Rapids)
Oh, come on. Just stop with this. You wouldn’t put butternut squash in a fruit salad. There are a lot of things that are botanically considered to be fruits, but we call them vegetables. Who cares?
david terry (hillsborough, north carolina)
@mjbarr it remains that butternut squash (as with all other squashes) does not grown underground. It is very ignernt to even think otherwise, much less write it and put it in the paper. advisedly yours as ever, david terry (bachelor) hillsborough, nc
Annessey (Girl from the North Country)
Gosh this looks delicious, the aroma would be amazing. I will be making this little gem and adding one clove garlic with a pinch of nutritional yeast. And I am perfectly okay with chardonnay.
Independent Observer (Texas)
"If you’re the kind of person who likes to drizzle cream over your oatmeal..." Colonel Jessup: "Is there another kind?" :-P I'm all over this recipe, but I think I'll try using risotto. I need to lose some weight, so I'm hoping to shed a few pounds with all of that rigorous stirring. :-)
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Independent Observer You are so dang funny. Frankly, risotto is my first choice over orzo because I love the depth and body and richness of risotto. When you make this, pls let me know how it went. Also, if your wrist lost any weight as well . . .
Independent Observer (Texas)
@Marge Keller "Also, if your wrist lost any weight as well . . ." It's the only skinny part of my body. :-) If I make this over the weekend, I'll provide a full report. I still have an Eggplant Parmesan hybrid to make this weekend involving Italian sausage, which is kind of like an eggplant lasagna. Really good stuff and especially relevant in our current "keto" climate. :-)
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Independent Observer oooh yum - Eggplant Parmesan IS one of my all-time favorites. Cannot wait to read your thorough report next week or whenever you complete this delicious tast.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
Oh my gosh - all of my favorites in one bowl. What an outstanding dinner option, especially if one leans towards the vegetarian side of life . . . I'd pair this with a crisp Caesar salad and a slice of apple pie slab for dessert.
Independent Observer (Texas)
@Marge Keller "Oh my gosh - all of my favorites in one bowl" Many of mine as well. Butternut squash makes for an amazing pasta sauce, so much so that I can't believe it isn't more universally known. Trying it out here, especially with the addition of some creamy fresh ricotta, is a must have for this particular kitchen-dweller (and I still have a few Alsatian Pinot Gris and Rieslings on hand from last week, so the pairings are already taken care of). \o/ Cheers!
Annessey (Girl from the North Country)
@Marge Keller Love the pairings, sounds wonderful. I have yet to make my own Caesar dressing, but it is on the to-do list. Holiday cheer to you, Marge and Independent Observer.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Annessey Thanks my dear and kind friend. Quick question - why use a pinch of nutritional yeast with one clove garlic? What does that do? Never heard or read that before. Thanks sweets.
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