Giada’s Tri-Colore Orzo — Meatless Monday
Orzo has a reputation as a pasta ideal for soups, but the rice-shaped noodles can also star as the base of a great pasta salad. Since orzo is small in size, it can be mixed with other salad fixings, like fresh vegetables and cheese, without overshadowing them. And although mayo-based dressings are a classic standby, swapping them for an oil-based dressing can lighten up the dish without skimping on flavor, as it does in Giada De Laurentiis' pasta salad (pictured above).
The name of Giada's Tri-Colore Orzo means “three colors,” she says, “so we’re going to add three vibrant colors into the orzo to really brighten it up and make it a really fun pasta salad” — red from the sweet dried cherries, green from the arugula and fresh basil, and white from the ricotta salata, a drier, saltier version of classic ricotta cheese. The peppery arugula and basil add welcome freshness to the dish, while the toasted pine nuts add crunch. Make this easy orzo salad tonight for dinner or even for lunch tomorrow — Giada recommends letting it sit for a bit so the flavors meld.