Bacon and Eggs Orzo “Risotto”

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kevin Hermann.

Executive Chef Kevin Hermann developed this version of risotto for The Porch in Pittsburgh. It uses orzo pasta instead of Arborio rice to cleverly rework the classic bacon and eggs combination. For additional color and texture, add 1/2 cup blanched chopped broccoli rabe to each serving. Serve this dish any time of day!

6 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4 pounds bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups small-dice spanish onions
3/4 cup minced garlic
6 pounds Barilla Orzo
1 1/2 quarts white wine
3 3/4 gallons vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
6 ounces butter
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper
24 eggs
  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, add 4 ounces of the oil and the bacon. Cook until the bacon begins to brown, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions become translucent. Stir in the orzo and reduce the heat to low.
  3. Stir the orzo to coat it well with oil, then pour in the wine. Cook, stirring, until the wine evaporates.
  4. Begin stirring in stock in 2-cup increments, cooking until it is all absorbed before adding more. When the orzo is still a little undercooked, remove it from the heat and stir in the parsley, butter, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Spread it on sheet pans to cool and refrigerate.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Reheat about 1 1/2 cups orzo with some stock until it is warm through.
  2. In a skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil and cook an egg sunny-side up. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Plate the orzo and top it with the egg.
  4. Garnish with a little additional parsley.