Kona Coconut Shrimp
Crispy Chicken Burgers

One Pan Tomato Orzo

Sublimely simple pasta dish boasting the plush goodness of fresh tomatoes, the fragrant richness of toasted garlic and a wee, fiery, hot chili hit.  Groovy!


One pan!  And it comes together, wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, every time.  And, it's just so, sooo, fresh tasting!  Well, how could it not be?! 

Fresh tomatoes - check, fresh cherry tomatoes - check , fresh garlic - check, fresh chili peppers - check, fresh basil - check! 

And, of course, the cherry on top - a very subtle, indulgent, buttery finish.  Plus, One Pan Tomato Orzo is great as a main course, or a hot diggity dog side dish.  Bonus!

OrzochilishandThis time around, making this recipe, that has become one of our favorites, I'm in our best-loved vacation spot - Kona, on the beguiling Big Island of Hawaii. 

Which means the fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes I used are from the family owned Kawamata Farms in gorgeous Kamuela (Waimea), and the Hawaiian Chili Peppers from a garden, just over the way.  I'm such a lucky duck!

Be sure that when you add your tomatoes to the pan, get right in there and mush, smoosh, mash, squish all that vine-ripened freshness into a glorious puddle of glistening flavour.  I usually use a big spoon and a potato masher, but whatevah works for you. 

As I mentioned One Pan Tomato Orzo is great on it's own, but we've also come to savour it as a side dish with juicy grilled steak, tender roasted chicken, and even shrimp tempura. Boom-shaka-laka.

" Life is a combination of magic and pasta." ~ Frederico Fellini

I love getting my plate of One Pan Tomato Orzo all tasty and lush with lots of grated
and less chopped Basil. Good thing is that Cliff looovvvesss fresh basil. 

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Many thanks to Mob Kitchen for this recipe inspiration
for The Last Wonton.
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~ Serves 4

5 plump garlic cloves
5 tiny fresh Hawaiian chili peppers - or your chili of choice - or a sprinkle of dry chili flakes
Handful of fresh basil
4 plump, fresh tomatoes
250 grams fresh cherry, or grape, tomatoes (1 generous cup)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
500 grams orzo (just over 1 pound)
3 1/2 - 4 cups quality chicken, or veggie, broth
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Finely slice garlic and chili peppers.  Chop basil.  Quarter the large tomatoes.

Over medium heat, in large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon butter, sliced garlic and chili pepper.  Gently fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until fragrant and garlic is toasty golden.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan.  Tip cherry tomatoes and quartered tomatoes into pan, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes, mushing and smooshing the tomatoes, as they bubble and cook, adjusting heat if necessary.

Add orzo and 3 1/2 cups broth.  Give it a good stir.  Simmer for about 8 minutes, until al dente.  If needed, add a bit more broth to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon butter, and the chopped basil.  Stir to combine.  Spoon into bowls, or onto plates, serve and enjoy!  Pasta la vista, baby!