Barilla

Orzo Arancini with Calabrian Chili Fondue
Barilla

Orzo Arancini with Calabrian Chili Fondue

Holiday Pasta-bilities

With 85 percent of consumers reporting a love or liking for pasta and that figure rising steadily in recent years, according to 2017 data from the Nielsen Company, any time of year is a good one for pasta on the menu. America is the world’s largest market for pasta, and consumption per person in this country is second only to the food’s homeland, Italy. Including pasta options on holiday menus is an excellent way for restaurants to capitalize on that love, along with winter seasonality and of course, profitability.

Whether it’s winter comfort food a la carte, catered parties or banquets, a high-quality pasta can be a great solution. From baked lasagnas to upscale mac and cheeses, or sophisticated white-tablecloth pasta dishes, there’s a pasta dish for every holiday menu. Here are some dishes featuring an underutilized but supremely versatile pasta cut, the rice-shaped orzo.

Orzo Arancini with Calabrian Chili Fondue (above) – This dish from Barilla Chef Yury Krasilovsky celebrates one of the “hottest” regional Italian cuisines, the food and famous chilies of Calabria. Subbing in Barilla Orzo for traditional rice in the arancini makes for an easy preparation with a unique twist, and these “little oranges”—as the name translates—work equally well as a passed hors d’oeuvre or a shared appetizer. 

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Orzo Bolognese Timbale – This dish is a creation of Hilton Chef Wagner Ribiero, looking for a unique way to plate and present a hearty pasta dish for his banquet menu. A traditional Bolognese in the Emelia-Romagna style is mixed with cooked orzo and cheese to bind it together. Prepped in advance, formed in molds and fired and plated for service, it’s easy to execute for a crowd, despite the show-stopping plating. 

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“Orzotto” with Butternut Squash, Truffled Burrata – Barilla Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni crafted this indulgent and Instagram-ready dish taking full advantage of the winter season ingredients, from the butternut squash puree that lends its golden color, to the white winter truffles from Urbani. The orzo cooked “risotto-style” comes together much faster and with less technique than a traditional arborio risotto…and holds up better too.  

Want to try some of these dishes? Visit http://barillafoodservicerecipes.com/?s=orzo... for the recipes. To request a free bulk case of Barilla orzo for your operation, visit https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5377646/Sample-Barilla-Orzo.*

* Limit 1 sample per operator Must be a foodservice operator Up to first 100 qualified requesters