Rice and pasta are beloved by many, and for good reason. They're easy to come by, go great in and with so many recipes, and last for a while in the pantry. This parmesan rice and pasta pilaf is a great choice for next week's dinner. It's both healthy and delicious! Let's check it out.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup vermicelli, finely broken, uncooked
2 Tablespoons onion, diced
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1 1/4 cups chicken stock, hot
1 1/4 cups water, hot
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1. In large skillet, heat oil. Sauté vermicelli and onion until golden brown (about 2–4 minutes) over medium-high heat. Drain off oil.
2. Add rice, stock, water, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 15–20 minutes. Fluff with fork. Cover and let stand for 5–20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
3. Sprinkle with cheese, and serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 2/3 cup
Each serving provides:
Total fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Sodium: 140 mg
Total fiber: 1 g
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Potassium: 90 mg
Remember This When Cooking Rice
Cooking rice is pretty simple, but there's a crucial step you need to take that a lot of people forget about. Before you cook your rice, make sure you wash it. Washing your rice is essential for two reasons.
First, washing your rice will clean off excess starch. Excess starch will make your rice sticky, meaning that it will stick to your skillet. It will also lack the fluffiness that you might find in restaurant rice. By removing the excess starch, you'll be left with rice that's fluffy and as you expect it to be.
Second, washing rice will remove any dirt and contaminants that might be leftover. Some rice, particularly brown rice, can be contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Plus, rice of any kind can contain dirt and bugs from harvesting and processing. While this might scare you, all it takes to rid your rice of these contaminants is a good wash. Cooking your rice will kill off any pests or bacteria that may have taken hold in your rice.
To wash your rice, simply dump the rice you want to use into a pot or bowl. Fill the pot or bowl with water, and disturb the rice. You should notice the water take on a cloudy, or even totally white, color. Once this happens, strain out the rice. Repeat this process until the water remains clear. You may need to do this two or three times, or one time may be enough. Even if you don't see the water turn cloudy or white, you're still removing the starch that is left on the rice. You just don't need to wash the rice a second time.
Washing your rice will help keep you and your family safe and healthy. Make sure you introduce this as something you do each time you cook rice. The only exception is if you have fortified rice; washing fortified rice can remove some of the nutrients in it. If you're willing to do that, though, you can still wash it.
Once you've tried this delicious rice and pasta pilaf, check out some of the other great recipes we have on our site. We have dozens of healthy recipes for you to check out that your family is sure to love.