Orzo pasta is so versatile. It has a great texture in the mouth and is a great pasta for coating with sauces as it covers well and doesn’t clump together like rice would. For this recipe I used a pesto that I came across while wandering and meandering through the Clonakilty farmers market one Friday.
I feel terrible that I didn’t note the name of the producer and there is no name on the pot, but either way I am sure to bump into them again! I would say that making a nasturtium leaf pesto is not the hardest thing in the world to if you know how make pesto! Just substitute the (traditional) basil for nasturtium leaves and hey pesto (groan…)! The resulting taste is something not dissimilar to wild garlic pesto but that is due no doubt to the heady amount of garlic in the pesto mix. The producer said to me that they prefer to use the nasturtium leaves rather than wild garlic because it’s not as watery and holds together better when heated. On testing it out, I discover he was 100% correct!
This recipe calls for deboned chicken thighs with the skin on. This is because, personally, I prefer the brown leg meat from chickens because it has more flavour, and by taking out the bone it cooks much more quickly even than a chicken breast. Also, leaving the skin on gives an extra crispy texture to the dish as well as imparting some extra flavour into the meat and the finished dish from the cooking juices. I have also used greek basil here, but if you can’t get hold of this then you can of course use the normal basil – you just won’t need as much of it. I also have used local, organic heirloom tomatoes from Devoy’s Organic Farm and locally smoked West Cork Garlic – just heavenly! But if you haven’t access to any of these then you can use cherry tomatoes (but make sure they are ripe and sweet) and normal garlic or Elephant Garlic if you can get it as it has a more delicate flavour.
Serve immediately with some garlic bread and…Enjoy!
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