Orzo risotto with Gorgonzola – The Pasta Challenge

This divine orzo risotto with Gorgonzola needs to be among the best pasta with Gorgonzola recipes I’ve ever made or eaten. Not solely is that this a 5-star restaurant high quality dish, however it’s really tremendous easy to make and requires simply 3 fundamental components other than the orzo/risoni pasta.

Orzo risotto with Gorgonzola, mascarpone, pears and roasted grapes.

The 2 hottest methods to serve Gorgonzola right here in Northern Italy are with pasta and in a risotto. This recipe is a fusion of those two dishes. The pasta, orzo, not solely seems like rice, however is cooked risotto type. Italians name this methodology risottata. In different phrases, in the identical approach one would prepare dinner rice for a risotto. The result’s a creamy Gorgonzola pasta that appears like a risotto.

Orzo risotto with Gorgonzola.

What’s orzo pasta?

For Italians, orzo (additionally referred to as risoni) is a kind of pastina. Pastina is a generic time period for a lot of varieties of tiny or very small soup pasta. Different varieties of pastina embrace stelline (stars), acini di pepe (pepper corns), and grattini (grated pasta). Pastina pasta is historically cooked and served in soups and broths.

Dried orzo pasta made by Garafalo on white plate.

Orzo seems like grains of rice. Actually, its different identify, risoni, attests to that similarity. Like different varieties of dried pasta, orzo is made with laborious wheat flour (semolina flour) and water. In response to the Italian Wikipedia, orzo originated in Tuscany.  Nonetheless, it’s also in style in Greece, Spain, Turkey and different Arab nations, not simply in Italy.

Orzo pasta risotto with roasted grapes.

How you can prepare dinner orzo.

This risotto with orzo entails cooking the orzo risotto type. Nonetheless, Italians additionally prepare dinner orzo in soups or broths as I discussed above. As well as, they boil it like different dried pasta and use it in pasta salads and typically in baked pasta recipes and with pesto.

There are additionally quite a lot of different Italian risotto with orzo recipes. To this point, I’ve printed one different with pumpkin which makes a superb Thanksgiving starter or facet dish.

Orzo pasta risotto with pumpkin in white bowl.
Orzo pasta risotto with pumpkin.

This recipe has each Gorgonzola and mascarpone.

Gorgonzola is definitely a really outdated blue cheese that dates again to Roman occasions. Some say that it was made for the primary time in 879 AD within the city of Gorgonzola, near Milan in Northern Italy. In response to others, Gorgonzola was first made in Pasturo, a city situated within the Valsassina in Lombardy.

Gorgonzola is considered one of Italy’s’ favourite cheeses and considered one of its hottest exports. The manufacturing of this cheese is now very managed to make sure that it conforms to sure requirements of manufacturing.

Ingredients for orzo risotto with Gorgonzola. Orzo pasta, vegetable broth, Gorgonzola, mascarpone, grapes and a fresh pear on marble worktop.

It has Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) standing within the EU and is a DOC cheese in Italy. Gorgonzola DOP is made solely with milk from cows in Piedmont and Lombardy.

There are two fundamental varieties of Gorgonzola – ‘Dolce’ and ‘Piccante’. You should utilize both for this recipe. Nonetheless, ‘Dolce’ is creamier and milder, whereas ‘Piccante’ has a firmer texture with a stronger sharper taste. To be trustworthy, I desire Gorgonzola dolce for this orzo risotto recipe.

Green grapes in a white oval oven dish.
If utilizing, place seedless grapes in oven dish with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes.

The opposite cheese on this recipe is mascarpone. This acid-set cream cheese is a well-liked Italian product nicely -known as an ingredient of tiramisu. Nonetheless, mascarpone is an ingredient in lots of savory recipes as nicely.

This comfortable, barely candy cheese originated in Lombardy within the late 16th, early 17th century. It’s usually paired with gorgonzola. Actually, right here in Italy, we are able to purchase blocks of mascarpone and Gorgonzola layered collectively which can be out of this world scrumptious!

Orzo pasta in Dutch oven with olive oil.
The 1st step: toast the orzo/risoni in a little bit olive oil in a heavy pot.

Different components on this orzo risotto.

Other than the orzo pasta and cheese, this recipe consists of just a few vegetable broth and salt and pepper. Nonetheless, I topped my orzo with Gorgonzola with some recent pear and roasted grapes. The previous is a standard addition to Gorgonzola risotto or pasta recipes. The latter was my very own invention!

Elements and substitutions.

Gorgonzola shouldn’t be a vegetarian cheese as a result of it’s made with animal rennet. To make this recipe vegetarian, you may exchange it with Italian Dolce latte which is often vegetarian or Stilton or Oxford Blue. However, it’s finest to verify the label of the cheese you purchase to make certain it doesn’t have animal rennet.

Mascarpone is the perfect creamy cheese for this recipe. Nonetheless, you may substitute it with cream cheese (+ some heavy cream) crème fraiche, bitter cream and even ricotta. Mascarpone is vegetarian. Italians make it by heating heavy cream after which including an acid like tartaric acid (cream of tartar), citric acid, or lemon juice to solidify and thicken the cream.

Orzo pasta in Dutch oven with some vegetable broth and a ladle.
Step two: Add a ladle of sizzling broth while stirring the orzo pasta.

Orzo/risoni: There are different varieties of small pastina that you should use on this recipe as a substitute of orzo. These embrace stelline (stars) and acini di pepe (pepper corns). Nonetheless, the similarity of orzo to rice makes it the perfect pasta to get the suitable look and consistency.

Vegetable broth: I used a ready-made natural vegetable broth. You may also make your personal broth or use vegetable inventory cubes diluted in water.

Orzo pasta and broth in Dutch oven.
Step three: Proceed so as to add sizzling broth and stir the pasta till it’s nearly cooked.

Toppings: I topped my orzo risotto with recent pears and roasted grapes. Figs and walnuts are additionally usually paired with Gorgonzola pasta, risotto and gnocchi dishes.

Alternatively, you may serve this dish simply with some grated Parmigiano cheese or a vegetarian laborious cheese as Italian Parmigiano Reggiano has animal rennet in it like conventional Gorgonzola.

Step 4: add the Gorgonzola and mascarpone to the pasta and broth.

How you can make this orzo risotto recipe.

This recipe may be very simple to make and requires just some components. Step one is to barely toast the orzo/risoni in olive oil in a heavy pot. I used my Dutch oven.

As soon as the orzo may be very barely toasted (don’t let it flip brown) you can begin so as to add some sizzling vegetable broth a ladle at a time while consistently stirring the pasta gently. Similar to making risotto.

Orzo pasta risotto with gorgonzola cooking in Dutch oven.
Step 5. hold stirring till the cheese has melted into the pasta risotto and the pasta is cooked.

Proceed so as to add broth and hold stirring the orzo till the pasta is nearly cooked. Then add the gorgonzola and mascarpone. Stir the cheese into the pasta risotto till it’s all melted. Add salt and pepper to style and serve instantly with most popular topping.

If making roasted grapes as I did, these should be cooked in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes with some olive oil and a little bit salt. Roasting the grapes makes them sweeter!

Orzo risotto with gorgonzola topped with pieces of fresh pear and roasted grapes in blue plate.

What to do with leftovers.

You’ll be able to retailer leftovers within the fridge in a sealed container for 2-3 days. I do not suggest freezing this orzo risotto with Gorgonzola. Nonetheless, after a short while, the pasta tends to soak up the sauce and leftovers shall be a lot drier than when first served. So, the consistency adjustments lots.

My favorite approach to make use of leftover pasta risotto is to bake it with a sprinkling of laborious cheese on high.


Can I make this recipe with risotto rice as a substitute of orzo?

Sure, you may however it’ll take longer to make, and it’s possible you’ll want extra broth.

Can I make this recipe with different varieties of pasta?

Sure, you should use different varieties of small pasta on this recipe. Very small pasta will make the same dish however greater pasta varieties will change the look and consistency.

After I first made this orzo with Gorgonzola risotto type, I used to be blown away by how good this dish is, and the way simple to make. The next week, I made it for home company, they usually had been so impressed too. I’m certain when you do that recipe, you, your loved ones and your company will like it too!

For those who do do that orzo risotto recipe, I’d love to listen to what you suppose. Please write a remark right here on the weblog or submit a touch upon the Pasta Challenge Fb web page.

Your suggestions means lots to me!

Buon Appetito!

Different pasta with Gorgonzola recipes to strive!

  1. Penne with Gorgonzola and olives.
  2. Fusilli bucati with Gorgonzola, pancetta and mushrooms.
  3. Gnocchi, Gorgonzola and radicchio.
  4. Gnocchi with Gorgonzola 5 methods.

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Orzo risotto with Gorgonzola and mascarpone.

Orzo risotto with Gorgonzola and mascarpone.


This divine Italian orzo risotto with Gorgonzola and mascarpone is a 5-star restaurant high quality dish that is really tremendous easy to make and requires simply 3 fundamental components other than the orzo/risoni pasta. Excellent for particular events or for while you simply need to spoil yourselves with one thing particular.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook dinner Time 30 minutes

Course Major Course, starter

Delicacies Italian, Northern Italy

Servings 4

Energy 609 kcal



  • 9 oz orzo pasta (risoni) I used orzo made by Garafalo.
  • 6.5 oz Gorgonzola Dolce or vegetarian blue cheese
  • 6.5 oz mascarpone for substitutes see fundamental content material.
  • 2 pints vegetable broth
  • salt to style and for grapes
  • freshly floor black pepper. to style
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil one for grapes

For toppings

  • 16-20 seedless grapes
  • 2 recent pears peeled and reduce into small cubes.


Cook dinner the orzo risotto

  • Warmth the vegetable broth in a saucepan

  • Toast the orzo pasta in a heavy pan in olive oil for a minute, stirring repeatedly. Do not let it flip brown

  • On a low warmth, add a ladle of sizzling broth to the pasta and stir. Proceed so as to add broth a little bit at a time while stirring repeatedly till the pasta is nearly cooked. Like making risotto.

  • Add the gorgonzola and mascarpone and proceed to stir till the cheese has melted and the pasta is cooked. Add salt and freshly floor black pepper to style.

To arrange toppings

  • Roast the grapes in an oven dish with a little bit olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 20 minutes. They need to be comfortable and barely brown.

  • Peel the pears and reduce into small cubes. That is finest executed simply earlier than serving.


To make this recipe vegetarian you will want a vegetarian blue cheese resembling Italian Dolcelatte, and a vegetarian parmesan if utilizing.
For leftover recommendations and ingredinet substitutions, see fundamental content material.


Energy: 609kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 17gFats: 42gSaturated Fats: 23gPolyunsaturated Fats: 1gMonounsaturated Fats: 9gLdl cholesterol: 81mgSodium: 2085mgPotassium: 288mgFiber: 4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1536IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 323mgIron: 1mg

Key phrase orzo recipe, pasta gorgonzola, pasta risotto, risoni recipe

Glossary for some Italian phrases on this recipe submit.

Risotto is a standard Italian rice dish made with a starchy Italian brief grain rice. Most Italian risotto rice is grown in Lombardy, Piemonte and Veneto. There are several types of risotto rice. Arborio is the most well-liked exterior of Italy. However, Italians think about Vialone Nano and Carnaroli to be the perfect.

Risottata refers to a cooking methodology principally used with pasta during which the pasta is cooked the identical approach as rice in risotto.

Pastina is a normal time period for several types of small pasta historically utilized in soups and broths. You’ll be able to learn extra about Italian pastina in my ‘what’s pastina?’ submit. Orzo/risoni is a kind of pastina that appears like grains of rice.

Try my store.

If you’re excited about studying tips on how to make different home made pasta and several types of gnocchi, try my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my mates in Rome!

Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus, whilst you’re there, why not order a duplicate of considered one of my pasta recipe cookbooks or try some beneficial pasta-making instruments?

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