Orzo with Artichokes & Italian Pancetta

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Ingredients for 8 people

  • 1 box Barilla® Orzo
  • 64 fl. ounces chicken broth
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 6 artichokes (may substitute 2 9-ounce packages artichoke quarters, thawed and drained)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, divided
  • 1 cup pancetta (may substitute bacon), diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
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  • Heat chicken broth in a medium sized pot over low heat until hot.
  • Leave on stove top on lowest heat until needed.
  • Clean artichokes by slicing ¼-inch off the top and bottom.
  • Remove all the tough outer leaves leaving a quarter of the artichoke remaining.
  • Cut artichoke in half lengthwise and remove choke.
  • Cut into thin slices and soak in a bowl of water with squeezed lemon to prevent browning.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic and drained artichoke slices; sauté 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In same skillet, add pancetta.
  • Sauté pancetta over medium high heat until lightly browned.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add Orzo and enough hot chicken broth to cover pasta.
  • Cook continuously, adding more broth as needed until pasta is cooked.
  • Add artichokes a few minutes before the end of cooking.
  • When pasta is a smooth consistency and excess broth is evaporated, stir in cheese, pancetta and butter.
  • Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and serve hot.
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