Sunday, April 26, 2015

Creamy Goat Cheese Orzo with Butternut Squash and Spinach

This orzo recipe from The Kitchn caught my eye, but Tim isn't a huge blue cheese fan so we decided to adapt it with goat cheese instead.  If you roast the butternut squash ahead (either on a weekend afternoon or in the oven alongside a dinner earlier in the week), this makes a really quick weeknight dinner.  The finished dish hits all the right notes -- sweet roasty flavor from the squash, fresh greens from lightly wilted spinach, fragrant garlic, whole wheat orzo to bulk things out and make this a main dish, and finally lots of creamy goat cheese that melts into the pasta to create a super simple sauce.  I haven't cooked with orzo much in the past, but I'm definitely a convert! I like it a lot better than many whole wheat pastas which can be on the heavy side.

Creamy Goat Cheese Orzo with Butternut Squash and Spinach (adapted from The Kitchn, original recipe here)
Serves 2 as a main dish, or more if serving as a side

2-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup whole wheat orzo
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
4 ounce package goat cheese, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss the butternut squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until tender and browned, 35-40 minutes.  (Can make ahead and stash in the fridge for a few days for an easy weeknight dinner -- just reheat with the garlic later in the recipe.)
2. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain well.
3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet pver medium-low heat and add the garlic.  Cook until just softened, and then stir in the butternut squash.  Cook until warmed through.
4. Combine the cooked orzo, hot squash-garlic mixture, spinach, and goat cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted and creamy and everything is combined.  Serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting pasta dish. I've never tried whole wheat orzo. Will pick some up at the market this week.