Typically made using white flour, orzo is a short-cut pasta variety. While most commonly associated with Italian cuisine (from which its name is taken, meaning ‘barley’ in Italian), the pasta shape is practically identical to Greek κριθαράκι/μανέστρα, Turkish arpa şehriye (literally ‘barley noodles’), and Arabic lisān al-ʿuṣfūr. Given the pasta’s widespread appeal, it’s also prepared in a variety of ways: alone, in soups such as minestrone, in salads, pilaf, casseroles. The possibilities are practically limitless. At Oblix in London, Executive Chef Marcus Eaves’ orzo recipe is spiked with wild mushroom and black truffle.
Opened in Spring 2013, Oblix was The Shard’s first restaurant, from Azumi Ltd, the team behind Zuma and Roka. On the 32nd floor of London’s tallest building, the restaurant boasts impressive views of the city’s skyline and serves a menu of seasonal, broadly European dishes, most of which are spit roast, cooked over the restaurant’s charcoal grill, or in its wood-fired ovens. A collection of signature dishes and afternoon tea are currently available for delivery through the delivery platform of their sister restaurant, Zuma. The kitchen have also shared a selection of their recipes, for dishes to be recreated at home. Oblix’s orzo recipe is fairly involved, but it calls for pre-made pasta, ultimately saving time. The results are also delicious and comforting, even without the addition of fresh truffle.
- 500 g orzo
- 100 g butter
- 1 onion
- 500 g wild mushrooms
- 250 g white wine preferably pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
- ¼ bunch thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 litres water
- 250 g vegetable stock
- 125 g dried mixed forest mushrooms either mixed, morel or cep/porcini mushrooms
- 1 litre double cream
- 30 g parsley leaves
- 25 g chives
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon
- Truffle to taste, thinly sliced
- Black truffle oil to taste
For the ‘confit onions’
- 4 onions
- 300 g butter
- 10 g kosher salt
To prepare the mushroom sauce
- Slice the onion into a thin half-moon shape, melt 60g butter, and sweat down the onions with a pinch of salt.
- Thinly slice the fresh wild mushrooms, add to the pan and cook 50% of them on a medium heat, until golden brown.
- Add the white wine and reduce to a sticky glaze.
- Add the water, vegetable stock, herbs, and dried mushrooms.
- Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the double cream and reduce to a good sauce consistency.
- Pass through a sieve and season with salt if necessary.
- Discard the onions and mushrooms from the sieve and set to one side.
To prepare the ‘confit onions’
- While the sauce is cooking, melt the butter in a pan then add the diced onions and salt.
- Place a lid on the top and cook slowly (number 2 on the induction hob) until soft. (This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour).
- Meanwhile, blanche the Orzo in boiling salted water for 6 minutes, drain and chill in ice water.
- Reheat the pasta in boiling water for 30 seconds then add to a medium sized sauce pan.
- Add one spoonful of confit onion, the cooked wild mushrooms, and enough mushroom sauce to barely cover. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Reduce the mixture until consistency is similar to risotto (thick and glossy).
- Add chopped parsley and set to one side.
- Slice the remaining wild mushrooms to medium thickness and wash to remove any sand or dirt.
- Roast in a pan with a knob of butter, garlic and thyme until golden brown.
- Place a generous amount of orzo pasta to the desired serving dish adding the wild mushrooms and a sprinkling of chives.
- Finish the dish with thinly sliced truffle and a few drops of black truffle oil and serve.
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