Porcini Chickpea Orzo Cakes with Tomato Pepper Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Ian Ramirez

Chickpea Orzo Cakes:
1/2 c Barilla Chickpea Orzo
2 c Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp Porcini Powder
1/4 c Diced Onion
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1/4 c White Wine
50 g Grated Parmesan
22 g Boursin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
To taste Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce:
320 g Canned San Marzano Tomatoes
190 g Roasted Red Peppers
15 g Chopped Garlic
60 g White Wine
50 g Diced Onion
50 g Goat Cheese
50 g Feta
6 g Anchovy Paste
1 tsp Crushed Red Peppers
1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1/2 ea Lemon Juice

Orzo Cake Method of Preparation: (The orzo cake is made in the style of risotto)

  1. Place the chicken stock and porcini powder in a separate saucepan and turn the heat to simmer on low.
  2. In a non-stick pan set at medium high, add the olive oil to the pan and saute the onions until translucent. Add the Garlic and dry pasta and fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until toasted. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, and then add ⅓ of the chicken stock to the pan.
  4. Turn down the heat to a steady heavy simmer and stir frequently until the liquid is almost completely dissolved (about 3-4 min.)
  5. Add the next ⅓ of chicken stock and stir frequently until the liquid is almost completely dissolved. Repeat process with final ⅓.
  6. Turn heat to low and finish by adding the butter, parmesan, boursin and parsley. Season to taste.
  7. Transfer mixture to a small sheet pan and form into 1 inch thick cake. place in the cooler and let it cool completely.
  8. To heat: Cut the cake into desired shape and fry in olive oil in a shallow pan until crispy. Flip over and repeat to the opposite side.

Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce Method of Preparation: 

  1. In a saucepan, on medium high heat, saute the onions and garlic until caramelized. Next add the red pepper flakes, stir, and then deglaze the pan with white wine. Turn the heat down to a simmer..
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. Transfer this mixture to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Season to taste.

Chef Notes:

This cake can be served with any animal or fish protein or used as a Center of the plate for a plant forward dish with vegetables.

This sauce pairs perfectly with the orzo cake and lends itself to some Greek influence with the lemon and oregano flavors. You can use any type of animal protein or plant based protein with this dish. I would suggest garnishing it with caramelized, pearl onions and mushrooms. The dish pictured below is shown plated using a prosciutto wrapped chicken roulade.