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Baked Southwest Orzo

Recipe contributed by Linda, E. of Hartville, OH

Serving Size:  4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb. Pappardelle’s Southwest Orzo
1-1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Bella Sol California Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 cups peppers (red, green & jalapeño combo)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 (30 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt & pepper, to taste
Optional: shredded chicken, black olives

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8-10 mins. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the onion in EVOO and butter, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the peppers and cook for an additional 5 mins. Stir in the flour and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 3 mins. more. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, beans, and spices.
  4. Simmer the mixture for 5 mins. Once done simmering, blend it into the orzo. Add 1/2 lb. of the cheese, shredded chicken, olives and salt & pepper. Transfer the mixture into a shallow baking dish. Spread the remaining cheese on top of the orzo.
  5. Bake dish in the oven for 30 mins., or until it is heated through and is slightly crispy on top. Once done, remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 mins. Serve and enjoy!