Mushroom orzotto

mushroom orzotto

And what on earth is an orzotto, I hear you ask…Well, I had never made it before but it is basically a risotto made with pearl barley (which is called orzo perlato in Italian). I tried it for the first time tonight and I have got to say I really liked it. Texture wise it’s very interesting as it has got more of a bite than rice, which is riso in Italian. Riso: risotto. Orzo:orzotto.  Get it?:-) All of a sudden the name makes sense! By the way,Candi, have you ever made it? The reason why I tried it was that recently I came across two orzotto recipes so I decided the time had come to broaden my culinary horizons. Apparently pearl barley is easily digestible and has many nutritional properties. It is, for example, a source of fiber (although much of it is removed in the pearl barley variety to make it easier to cook with) and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese. I read that it is cholesterol lowering so perhaps not a bad idea to introduce it in the diet. Plus it makes a nice change from the usual risotto. The one I made tonight had a combination of field mushrooms and dried porcini. I’d definitely make it again!

INGREDIENTS (for 3-4 people)

250 gr. pearl barley

600 ml. vegetable stock

1 medium sized onion, chopped

4 large field mushrooms , coarsely chopped

1 handful of porcini mushrooms (soaked in hot water for half an hour and chopped)


parmesan cheese, grated

two heaped tablespoons ricotta (optional but it made it nice and creamy)

2 tbsp chopped parsley


Boil the pearl barley in boiling water for approx 25 minutes . Drain.

In the meantime shallow fry the chopped onion, then add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the barley, the vegetable stock and basically cook it as if it was a risotto. It will probably take a bit longer than a normal risotto (I made mine in the pressure cooker, the philistine that I am!).

When cooked add the butter, the grated parmesan cheese, the ricotta and the chopped parsley.

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2 Responses to “Mushroom orzotto”

  • Ottima idea. Mi piace molto l’orzo perlato, lo uso nelle zuppe, nelle insalate ma con i funghi deve essere molto buono. Come dici tu è particolare la consistenza, più elastica del riso. La prossima sera in cui sarò a casa lo farò di sicuro! (ma quando??? venerdì??? uffi!)

  • Anch’io l’avevo solo usato in zuppe e spezzatini prima ma è veramente buono fatto come risotto. Ogni tanto è bello cambiare, no?….:-)

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