This is my own variation on the common pasta with sausage and peppers dish. I got the idea on a trip to Athens when I had a dish a bit like this made with lamb and tomatoes. Years later, I saw Giarda diLaurentis make something similar on TV. She used turkey sausage (ugh) and cooked the orzo separately. My dish is done in one pan and uses "real" sausage.
The orzo sold in most US markets is very small- about the size of long-grain rice. In Greece, they have larger varieties. If you can find the larger ones, try using them.
Although the dish calls for fresh tomatoes and peppers, you will be happy using canned D.O.P tomatoes and roasted peppers that come in a jar. The dish will taste different, but still good, and you won't have to mess around with roasting peppers and peeling tomatoes. Personally, I like the sausage in the casing, but you can remove the casing if you prefer. Use any kind of sausage that you like. Sweet, hot, Italian, German, Louisiana, etc. are all good.
This dish is great for an outdoor meal. Serve it in the pan it was cooked in along with a green salad and a great loaf of bread.
1 Lb Sausage
EVOO for frying
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded or equivalent from a jar, cut into 1/4" strips
2 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped or a can of D.O.P. San Marzano tomtoes
1 Tsp Red pepper flakes (optional for heat)
1 Cup Chicken stock
1 Lb Orzo
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs Chopped herbs such as oregano, basil or parsley, alone or in combination
Use a deep skillet or sauté pan. Cut the sausage into bite-size pieces and sauté them in EVOO until cooked through. If there is an excessive amount of fat, pour it off. leaving a couple of tablespoons. Add the garlic and sauté a couple of minutes more. Add the tomatoes, peppers and red pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock (carefully) and bring to a boil. Season to taste. Add the orzo, stir and cook about 8 minutes or until the orzo is al dente. The orzo should be a bit creamy - like risotto. If it is too dry, add more chicken stock.
Add the chopped herbs, correct seasoning and stir to combine. Serve with a block of Parmagiano Reggiano and a grater.