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Mary Berry’s Orzo with Broad Beans, Peas, Lemon, and Thyme

A quicker, lighter take on risotto, this Orzo with Broad Beans, Peas, Lemon, and Thyme form BBC2's Mary Berry Everyday makes a fresh-tasting spring or summer dish.

From the book


Orzo is a type of pasta made in the shape of a large grain of rice. It’s a bit different yet very versatile – I find I use it more and more. It can be served on its own or used in a range of dishes, from soups and salads to casseroles. The recipe I’ve included here is rather like a risotto. Orzo grains remain more separate than risotto rice, but the finished dish is just as creamy and tasty. It’s also much quicker to prepare, making it perfect for an everyday lunch or supper.

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200g (7oz) dried orzo
200g (7oz) frozen baby broad beans, defrosted and outer skin removed
200g (7oz) frozen petits pois, defrosted
A knob of butter
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, very thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g (7oz) full-fat crème fraîche
1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
25g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted (see tip)
25g (1oz) Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated


1. Cook the orzo in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions (usually about 10 minutes) or until just cooked (see tip), then drain. Boil the broad beans and petits pois in a separate pan for 2–3 minutes, then drain and rinse.

2. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, and when the butter has melted, add the onion and fry over a high heat for 2–3 minutes. Cover with a lid, then reduce the heat and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, turn up the heat and fry for 1 minute.

3. Stir in the crème fraîche, then add the cooked orzo, beans and peas and gently heat together. Add the thyme, lemon juice and zest and Parmesan, stir together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Spoon into a serving dish and scatter with the pine nuts and grated Parmesan to serve.

MARY’S EVERYDAY TIPS: Don’t overcook the pasta as it will absorb the cream on standing and it shouldn’t be too stodgy.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes, tossing frequently to ensure they don’t burn. You could use ready-toasted pine nuts otherwise.


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From the book: Mary Berry Everyday

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