Orzo risotto with spinach

Orzo, also known as risoni, or in french, langue d’oseau is a form of pasta, shaped like a grain of rice. It is a staple in our house and everybody loves it, especially when we make it risotto style. We always prefer eating risotto on its own with a vegetable or a salad. I served this orzo risotto with a plain fresh tomato salad with sliced spring onions. It is what I had in the fridge…the tomatoes were not in the fridge though, never keep tomatoes in the fridge!


  • I small onion
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups of hot vegetable stock
  • 1 TBSP of butter
  • 1 TBSP of créme fraiche
  • 1 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • 2 large handfuls of washed and drained spinach leaves
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Slice the onion finely and sauté in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the orzo and sauté for a minute or two.
  3. Add a ladle of hot vegetable stock and simmer over medium heat until dissolved, while stirring all the time. Repeat the process until all the stock has been used or until the orzo has become al dente. Take care not to cook the orzo until dry, because with standing time it will become more dry and might then become sticky and clumpy. You want the risotto creamy and runny.
  4. Add the butter and créme fraiche when the risotto is still creamy and still has some liquid. Remove from the heat. See image below.
  5. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  6. Add the spinach, a drizzle of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix gently.
  7. Serve on its own with some more grated parmesan cheese and a fresh tomato salad or serve with roasted chicken.

Serves 4

Pinch of salt

  • Use a large shallot instead of an onion.
  • Like with risotto, you can serve this with any vegetable you choose, steamed asparagus, roasted butternut for autumnflavor, plain with saffron, broccoli, or roasted sweet potato.
  • Add fresh herbs of your choice at the end of the cooking process.
  • Keep the risotto creamy by removing it from the heat until it is still runny and still has some liquid, or else it will become sticky and clumpy if you cook it until dry.
  • Serve the risotto as soon as possible. The longer it stands the drier it becomes.
  • Constantly stir the risotto to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  • The cooking time is more or less about the same as for risotto, 20 minutes.

à bientôt


Tomato pasta

Everybody knows how to make a tomato pasta. And everybody has their own way of making it. Here is mine. Or one version of it, because of course there are several different ways of eating tomatoes or tomato sauce on pasta. Im not giving a formal recipe, it all comes down to taste and preference.

  • Start by making the sauce: Peel and slice 1 large onion. Fry in some olive oil until caramelized. Add one 400 g can of peeled tomatoes. Add one 200 g can of tomato coulis. Add two TBSP of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice.. Season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes to reduce the sauce until thick.
  • Boil fresh or a packet of spaghetti for 4 people according to the instructions. Fresh pasta takes two minutes to be al dente. Drain and pour into a large serving bowl.
  • Pour the sauce ove the pasta. Shred a handful of basil leaves onto the pasta and drizzle with some olive oil.
  • Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 4 people


  • I prefer to serve the tomato sauce with either fresh spaghetti or fresh linguine.
  • Add a tsp of sugar if you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce.
  • If you use fresh tomatoes, peel the tomatoes first and make the cooking time a bit longer.
  • You can also add some tomato paste to the sauce for a deeper tomato taste.

Winter in Provence.

Saint Saturnin les Apt. This is our town and here are a few images of it in winter. Provence is quiet in winter with most places closed. But that doesn’t take away from its beauty.

Village house

Village house in St Saturnin les apt

Joseph Talon, the father of Trufficulture

la mairie de St Saturnin les Apt