Orzo with Mushrooms, Bacon, Arugula, and Parmesan This dish was everything

Orzo with Mushrooms, Bacon, Arugula, and Parmesan This dish was everything I wanted and more! With smoky bacon, earthy mushrooms, peppery arugula and a heaping mound of fresh Parmesan cheese, this orzo was loaded with great flavors in every bite. A perfect side dish for dinner but could easily stand on its own! I served this with some golden crisped chicken cutlets and it worked really well together— highly recommend this combo!
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This version of orzo is not too heavy, as the dish is cooked with chicken stock. I have saved the steps in my highlights! Hope that you try it and let me know your thoughts!
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Ingredients:
– 12 oz orzo pasta
– 4-5 pieces bacon, diced
– 1 tbsp butter
– 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1.5 cups baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
– 4 sprigs fresh thyme
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 2 large handfuls arugula
– 1.5 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
– salt and pepper to taste
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Boil a pot of salted water.
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In a separate large pot, cook diced bacon until brown/crisped. Remove from pot and set aside. Add butter and shallots to the bacon oil and let that cook together for several minutes. Then add your garlic and cook for a minute. Add your mushrooms and thyme and let everything cook down for five minutes or until the mushrooms have released their liquids.
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Add your orzo to the boiling water and cook until al dente!
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While pasta is cooking, add chicken stock to the mushrooms and cook on medium low heat (7-8 minutes). Once the pasta is done, reserve a little pasta water, drain the orzo and add it into the sauce mixture. Lower the heat to a simmer and add your arugula and Parmesan to the pot as well. Stir a bunch to combine. Add some black pepper, and salt to taste. Add 3/4 of your bacon and stir again. The orzo will soak up the chicken stock. Add a little reserved pasta water if needed.
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Serve as a side or eat a heaping bowl! Top with the reserved crisped bacon and some extra parm for good measure! Would also be great with a squeeze of fresh lemon! Enjoy!
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