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Lemony Orzo with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 100

This dish, and its perfectly balanced flavors, is the antidote to predictable weeknight pasta.

No dry vermouth or white wine on hand? Deglaze the skillet with chicken broth or water instead.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups dried orzo (about 9 oz.)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 5-oz. can water-packed solid white tuna, drained
  • 3 Tbs. crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package timing until al dente. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the vermouth or wine. Return the skillet to the heat and stir well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes and cook just until tender and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Off the heat, gently stir in the tuna.

Transfer the hot orzo to a large bowl and toss with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Add the onion-artichoke mixture, 2 Tbs. of the basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine. Spoon into bowls, garnish with the remaining 1 Tbs. basil, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Try Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries with Basil for a light and quick dessert.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 470; Fat (g): fat g 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4; Protein (g): protein g 23; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 710; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 25; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

WOW. This is delicious.

LOVED this! I made it for lunch, it took 20 minutes tops. I subbed in some basil that I had dried from my garden and put that in with the onions and oil. I also went the sour cream and broth route since that was what I had on hand. Really delicious.

This was a great quick weeknight meal with a lot of flavor. The fact that most of the ingredients can be kept on hand makes it perfect for nights when you don't feel like going to the store. The leftovers were also really good. I will definitely make this again.

I will be making this for the 2nd time tonight for dinner. This is really a delicious and easy meal. The flavors are so complimentary. We did add some freshly grated parmesan cheese at the table because we love it. This is something different, for sure. Highly recommended.

My husband pronounces this dish "a pretty good mix"--high praise from a man who doesn't approve of any pasta except spaghetti swimming in bolognese sauce. I also liked the combination of flavors. The sweetness of the tomatoes and artichokes balances the lemon and creme fraiche. And this dish was quick and easy to prepare--even for a slowpoke like me. My only concern is the possibility of mercury in the tuna. I think next time i try this recipe I'll substitute light tuna for the white tuna.

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