Mushroom & Artichoke Orzo

This dish is packed with rich deliciousness of garlic, dried mushrooms, parsley, artichoke hearts and vegan parmesan; it's decadent food that's just as perfect thrown together at the end of a long day as it would be served in the presence of company.



The addition of dried mushrooms in this dish adds a real savoury and almost smoky depth of flavour; dried mushrooms, whilst might appear quite pricey, only a handful are required for this dish and the rest can be stored for later dishes like risotto, mushroom gravy, pies, soups etc. The deep garlicky flavour is balanced out  by the artichokes and parsley which freshen up the dish wonderfully and all tied together with vegan parmesan.

I used orzo pasta for this recipe, it's a rice shaped pasta which wonderfully absorbs the flavours of this dish; but you could always sub this out for other grains of a similar size like arborio rice or pearl barley and adjust the cooking times accordingly. I used artichoke hearts from a jar for this recipe, they're stored in oil and vinegar and add the perfect acidity to this recipe. I also used violife parmesan, which my local health food shop ordered in for me and I couldn't be more excited to cook with it again!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups orzo pasta
  • 10 dried mushrooms
  • 3 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp stock powder
  • 5 artichoke hearts (from a jar)
  • 1/2 cup grated vegan parmesan
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped 
  • Pinch salt & black pepper, to taste
  • oil

Instructions

  1. Boil the kettle, then finely chop 1/2 onion and add to a saucepan with a splash of oil, fry on a medium-low heat for a minute or so before mincing the garlic and also add this to the pan. Add the mushrooms to a measuring cup and pour over a cup of water to rehydrate for a minute. 
  2. Add the mushrooms and water to the pan, along with another 2 cups of water and the stock powder. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer the pasta for 8 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the pasta is al dente - keep a close eye on the pan to make sure it doesn't boil dry.
  3. To finish the pasta off, cut the artichoke hearts in half and add these to the pan along with the grated parmesan and chopped parsley, stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve up and enjoy!