Orzotto with pancetta & peas

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only

Substitute rice for orzo pasta to make this risotto-style ‘orzotto’, packed with pancetta and peas. It makes a lovely and quick midweek meal for the family

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:20 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 518
  • fat 10g
  • saturates 5g
  • carbs 73g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 9g
  • protein 29g
  • salt 2g


  • 150g diced pancetta
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g orzo
  • 1½ litres chicken stock
  • 500g frozen petit pois or peas
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • small bunch basil, leaves picked and shredded
  • 75g parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve


Keep leftovers for lunch

Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.


  1. Put the pancetta in a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and set aside. Reduce the heat, add the onion along with a pinch of salt and fry in any leftover fat for 5 mins. Add the garlic and continue to fry for a further 3 mins.

  2. Increase the heat and stir in the orzo. Fry for 2 mins, stirring constantly, then pour in 500ml stock and bring to a simmer. Add more stock by the ladleful, stirring constantly, as the orzo absorbs the liquid (similar to cooking a risotto).

  3. After 5 mins, stir in the petit pois and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to add the remaining stock, stirring, as the mixture cooks. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through. Add the lemon zest and juice, basil, parmesan and fried pancetta. Season to taste, then cover and leave to rest for 2 mins. Serve with extra parmesan sprinkled over the top.

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