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Caprese Pesto Orzo

by Ashleigh Mogford from Cardiff Mum’s Thrifty Feasts

This simple, budget-friendly pesto pasta bake couldn't be easier to make. All you need to do is add the ingredients to a roasting tin and let the oven do the work.

From the book


Trust me, this is going to become your new go-to for busy nights. No boiling needed, just some roasted tomatoes with garlic, pesto, onions and olive oil that soak up into the orzo. The gooey mozzarella cheese on top makes this dish delish.

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4 cloves of garlic
1 white onion
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
300g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil
chilli flakes, to taste
salt and pepper
300g orzo pasta
2 tbsp pickled red peppers, chopped
4 tbsp basil pesto
200g grated mozzarella cheese
To serve:
fresh basil leaves


Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

Chop the garlic, onion and basil and put them into a medium baking dish with the tomatoes, olive oil and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add the orzo and pickled peppers. Pour over 600ml of water and stir to combine. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Stir the pasta around, swirl through the pesto, then sprinkle over the cheese. Place under a hot grill for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce has bubbled. If there’s a lot of oil from the pesto on top, drain off the excess. Top with fresh basil leaves.

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