Vegan, Vegetarian
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Red Pepper + White Bean Orzo with Saffron + Paprika

This recipe should, I hope, encapsulate everything you ask me for most frequently. Vegetarian (vegan, in fact), but not relying on pretend meat for its protein (not that I’m averse to pretend meat, as you know). A small list of ingredients, not a particularly labour intensive affair and – everybody’s favourite – cheap.

I’d say this would comfortably serve three for lunch. In my sad little locked down case, of course, that means one serving is poured into a bowl and two are portioned away in plastic boxes for later in the week. I tend to serve it with greens on the side, too, because I am just that sort of person these days.

Serves 3

175g orzo
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 can cannelini or butter beans
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
700ml stock (I use chicken but feel free to use veg)
1 tbsp paprika
Large pinch of saffron
Salt, to taste

1 – Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan on a medium heat and add your pepper and onions. Sprinkle with salt then cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes (stirring occasionally).

2 – Uncover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic and give it 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 – Add the orzo, closely followed by the stock, paprika and saffron. Drain your beans and get those in there too.

4 – Simmer, covered, on a low heat for 40-45 minutes – stirring every now and then to avoid sticking – or as long as it takes for the stock to be mostly absorbed and the orzo fully cooked.

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