One of the easiest recipes to make in advance, Orzo and Pancetta Salad is perfect for the make ahead chef. It can be made in bulk, and pulled out in portions to serve for dinner or pack in a lunch. This fantastic hearty salad recipe by LOAR contributor Diane Bittiker will become a staple in your monthly meals. If you are not a fan of Pancetta, it is easy to substitute it out for your favorite protein.
Orzo and Pancetta Salad recipe by Diane Bittiker
1 box of Orzo
1 4 oz package of chopped Pancetta*
1 cup fresh Basil – torn into bite sized pieces
3-4 cloves of Garlic – minced
½ cup Pine Nuts
1 cup shredded Asiago Cheese
¼ cup Olive oil
1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
Red Pepper Flakes
Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Sauté the pancetta in a pre-heated skillet on medium high heat for 1 minute (do not over cook). Then add the pine nuts and garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds.
Put the meat/nut mixture in a large mixing bowl to cool. When it is completely cool add the orzo, basil, and cheese. Sprinkle with black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Mix the olive oil and balsamic and pour over the pasta. Blend together and Bon Appetit! It is best eaten when you make it because the basil will blacken a little overnight in the refrigerator.
*If you can’t find the pre chopped pancetta just chop strips into small cubes. Bacon can also be used in place of the pancetta.
Entertainment News / Food To Eat / Salad Recipes by Diane Bittiker
Posted June 1, 2009; updated November 16, 2015