It’s weird the way naming conventions in food work, isn’t it?
Orzo is a type of pasta, it’s small, and sort of rice shaped – like a pine nut. One of the best things about Orzo is that like rice you can use it to make a very fast risotto type dish, called an Orzotto.
In Italian orzo means barley, so back in 2010 when I made a risotto using pearl barley, it too was called orzotto. While pearl barley cooks into a delicious risotto dish, you can’t say it’s fast. It takes longer to cook pearl barley than it does to cook rice.
Risotto is a firm favourite in our household, but the rice version takes a bit long for a week night meal. This is where Orzo (pasta) steps in.