One-Pot Orzo With Tomatoes, Corn and Zucchini

Ingredients

  • 3

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    Vidalia or yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 ½

    teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • 1

    medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise, seeded and ½-inch diced

  • 3

    garlic cloves, minced

  • 2

    pints cherry tomatoes, halved

  • cup torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

  • ¼

    teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste

  • 2

    tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1

    tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 ¼

    cups orzo

  • Kernels from one ear of corn (about ½ cup)

  • 1

    cup torn or medium-diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces)

  • ¼

    cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet, for which you have a lid, set over medium. And the onions, lightly season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the zucchini and garlic, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the tomatoes, basil, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have completely collapsed, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add 2½ cups water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the orzo, corn, and ½ teaspoon salt, mix well, and turn the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan 3 or 4 times, until the pasta is cooked. The pasta should look “saucy” as it cooks; if at any point it looks dry, add another ¼ cup water.
  4. Off the heat, add the mozzarella and Parmesan and stir gently until just combined. Top with fresh basil and more red-pepper flakes if desired, and serve hot.