Pea & Broccoli Orzo Risotto (Orzotto) Recipe

Risotto is a dish that has traditionally been made with arborio rice, although nowadays taking from the concept of the risotto you can be creative and make it with, spelt, pearl barley or even pasta. This particular risotto is made with orzo pasta, which in Italian means barley, and it is shaped like a grain of rice, although slightly larger in size. Orzo pasta is also used in Greek and Turkish cuisine, and you can find a very similar alternative in Spain called ‘piñones‘, which means pine nut, because it is shaped like a pine nut.

This orzo risotto (also known as an orzotto) is actually much easier to make as you don’t have to keep stirring constantly to make it creamy, as pasta will not release start and creamy anyway like rice does. I like to make this without cheese or dairy cream for a lighter meal, and I substitute these for nutritional yeast which has a malty cheesy flavour, and non dairy cream such as almond cream (I use Ecomil brand). Oat cream or soya cream work well too, the choice is yours. This dish is very tasty and perfect for a light spring/summer lunch.

Pea & Broccoli Orzo Risotto (Orzotto) Recipe
Yield: 2 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Cooking time:


  • 20 g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 125 g orzo pasta
  • 300 ml water
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 80 g broccoli
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 100 ml non dairy cream
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1½ oz pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4½ oz orzo pasta
  • 1¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 oz broccoli
  • 3½ oz frozen peas
  • 3 fl oz non dairy cream
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast


  1. Toast the pine nuts by adding them to the pan on a medium heat without any oil for a minute or so until they start to brown. Remove and set to one site.
  2. Finely dice the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and gently cook until the onions are soft but without browning.
  3. Add the of orzo pasta to the pan, stir to coat the pasta, and water recently boiled kettle, the white wine together with a generous pinch of salt.
  4. Bring this to a boil over a medium heat and let it gently simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Cut 3 or 4 broccoli florets into small florets, without the stalk bases and add to the pan. Add the frozen peas (allow these to defrost or quickly defrost in the microwave) and stir in.
  6. When the orzo is almost cooked (still has some bite) add 100ml of non dairy cream and 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast.
  7. Allow the pasta to cook for another few minutes. Season to taste and serve with the pine nuts.

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