Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 50 mins
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. Italian sausage (mild or hot as preferred)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
1 cup diced carrots (2 medium)
3/4 cup sliced celery (2 ribs)
3/4 cup diced bell pepper (1 small)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, then more as desired to thin
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 cup dry orzo pasta
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Olive oil has to be heated in a big saucepan over medium heat. Put the sausage into the pot, broken up.
2. Sausage should be cooked until no longer pink, so allow it to be brown on the bottom for about 3 minutes before flipping and breaking it up. Toss onto a paper towel-lined dish and keep the rendered fat in the saucepan over medium heat.
3. You should have around 1 Tbsp fat in a saucepan. If needed, add a bit extra olive oil or drain out any excess fat if there’s too much.
4. After about 6 minutes of sautéing, the onions, carrots, celery, and bell pepper will begin to soften. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
5. Add broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and Italian spices. Place sausage back into the saucepan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bring to a boil, then cover, decrease the heat to medium-low and allow simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until vegetables are almost tender.
7. Add orzo. Stir the contents of the saucepan occasionally while they simmer covered (while scraping along the bottom of the pot as orzo will tend to stick). The pasta should be almost al dente when cooked. It will take about 8 minutes.
8. Take it off the stove immediately. Add a handful of ice cubes (about half a cup) to prevent the orzo from overcooking and becoming mushy. Stir in fresh parsley and basil.
9. Serve warm, topping dishes with grated parmesan if preferred.