Sunday, August 19, 2007

Orzo recipes

Any type of couscous recipe is going to be pretty similar to those that are called Orzo recipes. The reason is because Orzu is another name for rice shaped pasta and that, pretty much, is what couscous is. Yes it's true. Couscous is pasta. It's actually the best type of pasta you can get, and orginally each tiny ball of wheat flour was rolled by hand but pasta is just an italian word which means "paste" and we all know that paste is made out of flour and water. Heck, you can use it to hang your wallpaper up at a pinch.

Back to Orzo.

The main difference between Orzo and Couscous is in the shape of the grains, which then also affects the texture. Orzo grains are rice shapes. They are little cigar shaped cylinders. Couscous grains on teh other hand are smaller and rough spherical, with slightly squared sides. You've never looked that closely? Why even the naked eye can see it, but a strong magnifying glass is recommended if you want to see the true shape of your favourite brand of couscous.

So Orzo recipes can generally be adapted to make a couscous dish. Just don't boil the couscous grain for 3 minutes or whatever they say for Orzo. And be aware that dry couscous swells up in liquid by a larger proportion than other pastas. That's all there is to it really.