California Raisin, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Orzo Pasta

By Lisa Renshaw, Honorable Mention Soup/Salad/Side Dishes Category Coast-to-Coast Recipe Contest
An awesome dish to serve with meats or add to an Italian buffet.



  • 16 ounce orzo
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 red onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup Mascarpone
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups California golden raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts


Cook orzo in boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, vinegar and honey. Sauté 8 to 10 minutes. Then, stir in cooked and drained orzo, blue cheese, mascarpone, spinach, raisins and nutmeg. Heat briefly to warm cheeses. Spoon onto large serving platter. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve, immediately.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 440 (43% from fat); Total Fat 21g (sat 9g, mono 0g, poly 0g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 40mg; Protein 12g; Carbohydrate 52g; (Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 19g; ); Iron 0mg; Sodium 450mg; Calcium 0mg; Potassium 424mg

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