My Chef's Hat - Orzo with Sauteed Onions, Garlic & Peppers

First glance at orzo, and you might think you're looking at a thicker cut of rice.  But it's pasta, just simply a rice-shaped pasta.  It's one of my favorite cuts, and is extremely versatile in lots of different dishes.  I've found and made many recipes with it over the years.  Whole wheat orzo  of course healthier, but is very hard to find.  I checked lots of stores in Stillwater and Oklahoma City and could only find it in one place so I bought a huge container.  But it's still very mealy, like any whole wheat pasta.  So I mix it with regular orzo. 

A couple months ago I was looking for a new orzo recipe and came across orzo with sautéed onions, garlic & peppers.  I was immediately drawn to it because I love everything in the dish. It looked really colorful, and was kind of a one-pot meal, and just needed to add a protein on the side.

Here's the official recipe picture:

And here's my version:

I love this dish! As usual I cut up too many peppers, but that's okay.  I usually have green, red and yellow peppers all on hand, so I'll use them all. The recipe called to saute the peppers, onions & garlic in olive oil and butter. The first couple times I made it with olive oil only, but then I started adding a little bit of Smart Balance margarine, so it's a lighter way to go while still adding the butter flavor. The recipe also calls to add olive oil to the dish before serving, but I've never done that. I think that would be too much oil.  I'm a huge fan of pine nuts.  The hardest part is toasting them without burning.  I've failed several times, but as long as you watch the pan pretty closely and don't walk away you'll be fine.

Will I make this again?  I already have, several times.

Recipe courtesy of From Which Things Grow