- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sized brown onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 head of broccoli cut into florets, discard stem
- 21-ounces | 600-grams asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (woody ends snapped off)
- 8-ounces (250-grams) dry orzo pasta
- 2½ cups low sodium vegetable broth (or stock)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup half and half (or a reduced fat cream) – OPTIONAL
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt and pepper (extra) to taste if needed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
- Fresh parsley, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Fry the onion for 2-3 minutes until transparent. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant; add the orzo and fry to brown slightly (about 2 minutes) in the oil.
- Next, add in the broccoli florets and asparagus pieces, stirring occasionally for a further 2 minutes to absorb all the flavours in the pot.
- Pour in the broth along with ¾ teaspoon of salt. Give it a good stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat down to low and allow to cook for 5-6 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed, while stirring occasionally.
- Uncover the pot and add in the peas and parmesan cheese. Stir gently to combine with the rest of the ingredients, and continue to cook on low heat for about 2-3 minutes until the peas have cooked through, the cheese has melted, and the pasta is cooked to your liking, while stirring occasionally.
- Take off the heat. Stir the half and half through to combine well and squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix through; taste test and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Garnish with the fresh chopped parsley; top with the grape tomatoes and serve immediately
*If you find all of the liquid has absorbed and the pasta is not done, add ½ cup extra broth or water, stir through, and allow to cook through