I really wanted to call this post Parmesan Pasta with Pesce and Peas because I love alliterations. However, using pesce (Italian for fish) instead of the word “salmon” seemed like a bit of a stretch. Instead, I’ve decided to add the new goal of creating a post whose title can be an alliteration to my Blog To Do list. If anyone has any ideas to get me started, I am open to suggestions. Honey Ham and Havarti Hash, anyone? Yeah, maybe this is a stretch goal.
One-pan dishes are key to surviving weekday dinner times. Orzo is great for this because you can cook it like risotto but without the constant stirring. The only hard part about this recipe is getting the orzo and salmon to be finished cooking at the same time. Nobody wants soggy pasta with rare salmon. I made this three times to work out the timing and am really happy with the final result – al dente pasta with a touch of creaminess and salmon that is still tender and flakey. I found that covering the pan while cooking the salmon yielded the best result so don’t forgo that step. My non-stick pan came with a tempered glass lid which was perfect for keeping an eye on everything and making sure the salmon and orzo were cooking at a low simmer. Be sure to start checking the salmon at 5 minutes so it doesn’t overcook. Then get ready to dig in.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1½ cups dry orzo pasta
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 3½ to 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 1¼ pounds salmon fillet, skin removed and fish cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add onions and sauté until onions are soft and transparent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add orzo and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat the pasta with oil. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine is mostly evaporated. Stir in 3½ cups of chicken broth and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat so that mixture maintains a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- After the orzo has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in peas and Parmesan cheese. There should still be some liquid in the pan. If mixture is dry, add remaining ½ cup of broth. Add salmon pieces to the pan, nestling the pieces in the orzo. Cover the pan and adjust heat so that mixture is at a low simmer again. Cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes until salmon is just cooked through and orzo is al dente. Remove lid and gently stir orzo to soak up any remaining liquid. Adjust seasoning for salt and pepper and serve.