The Wooden Spoon: Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas

(Always read the recipe twice, assemble, and prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook.)

4 cups low salt chicken broth
1 lb. orzo pasta
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more to grease the baking dish
1 onion, chopped
3 oz. white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. shredded fontina cheese (about 1 cup)
4 oz. diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup plain bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried thyme

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 9×13” inch baking dish
• Bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan
• Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes
• Pour the orzo and the broth into a large heat-proof bowl and set aside
• Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet.
• Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes.
• Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes.
• Add the Marsala and then scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan
• Cook until the Marsala has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
• Add the mushroom mixture to the orzo in a large bowl
• add the cream, fontina, mozzarella, peas, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
• Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
• In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and thyme.
• Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the pasta.
• Bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes.

 tsp. means a teaspoon and tbsp. means tablespoon – always use a measuring spoon not a piece of silverware

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Carol was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Jefferson Township with her husband in 1976. She initially joined the Garden Club of Milton, eventually serving as President. She was a co-founder of the ABC Mothers Group, active in the local PTAs, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts. She worked for AIM Newspapers as a reporter and eventually became its Editor. Currently, she is President of the Jefferson Arts Committee and the Recreation Program Coordinator in the Jefferson Township Recreation Department. She can be reached at