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!
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!
– 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
Boil a pot of salted water.
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.
Add your orzo to the boiling water and cook until al dente!
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.
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!