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Vegetarian Osso Buco with Asparagus-Mushroom Orzotto

"When I was little, I would raid my fridge and create stuff for my friends," admits Laura Hite, first-place winner of VT's 2008 Reader Recipe Contest. A big fan of Italian food, and a vegetarian for nine years, Hite replaced the traditional veal in this dish with soy-based Veat. Osso buco is usually paired with risotto, but Hite used orzo pasta to create an Asparagus-Mushroom Orzotto that VT testers unanimously declared good enough to be served on its own. For a simpler variation, skip the orzotto and serve the osso buco over plain pasta or brown rice. To veganize the recipe, simply replace the butter with olive oil, and omit the Parmesan from the orzotto.

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Set Name: 

Osso Buco

Ingredients: 

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2 Tbs. olive oil
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2 Tbs. unsalted butter
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1 cup diced celery
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1 cup diced carrots
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1 cup diced onion
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3 Simply Organic Bay Leaves
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Thyme
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Oregano
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1 Tbs. Simply Organic Parsley
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4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
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1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
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1 6-oz. can tomato paste
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1 13-oz. pkg. chicken-style soy meat substitute, such as Veat
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2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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1 cup white or red wine
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1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Ingredient Set Name: 

Asparagus-Mushroom Orzotto

Ingredients: 

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2 Tbs. olive oil
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1 Tbs. unsalted butter
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½ cup diced onion
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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10 asparagus spears, trimmed and sliced on bias into thirds
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6 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
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1 cup orzo
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3-4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed
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½ tsp. Simply Organic Thyme
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½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions: 

To make Osso Buco:

1. Heat olive oil and butter in large pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and parsley, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste, and cook 5 minutes. Add meat substitute, broth, wine, and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes, or until sauce thickens and meat substitute is heated through.

To make Asparagus-Mushroom Orzotto:

2. Heat olive oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 10 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Add asparagus and mushrooms, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, or until mushrooms start to release their juices. Add 1/2 cup orzo and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add remaining orzo, and cook 3 minutes more, or until all pasta bits are browned. Stir in 1/2 cup vegetable broth, parsley, and thyme, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until orzo has absorbed all liquid, stirring often. Continue adding broth to orzo 1/2 cup at a time until all liquid is absorbed and orzo is al dente. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmesan, if desired. Serve with Osso Buco.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
453
Protein: 
22 g
Total Fat: 
19.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
6.5 g
Carbohydrates: 
49 g
Cholesterol: 
15 mg
Sodium: 
825 mg
Fiber: 
7 g
Sugar: 
14 g
Yield: 
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! we've been making it for years. We actually don't make the osso buco, just the orzo part. It's so delicious and hit all the right notes: creamy, savory, salty, sweet. Yum.

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