Black and White Orzo Cheesey Bean Bake

 The inspiration for this delectable bake was a bag of black and white orzo (actually labeled tuxedo orzo), which I had purchased on a whim.  It sounded fun.  Then the bag sort of sat around, despondently, waiting for me to do something clever with it. Today, wanting some pasta for dinner, I remembered that orzo, and decided  it should be the star of a new feature.  One involving lots of cheese - some ricotta that needs to be used pronto, some (white) cheddar, a bit of Parmesan - and keeping with the black and white theme, how about black beans?  They would also round out the protein factor.  Onions are white, thus they could be included, and garlic.  There you have it, the growth of a theme recipe.
Here in Hilo we have, about this time of year, what is known as Black and White Night, a Friday evening and actually, I do believe it was last week, so I missed it again.  Ah well, the idea  must have been floating around in the ether, and I only just picked up on it.  Once in a while we even go out and catch one.  I'll wear black and white tonight when I serve this meal.

Salt and pepper are black and white, and allowed in.  Black olives, maybe white bread crumbs.  But, they don't stay white, so maybe not.  We're being really strict here.  Racking my brains for tasty inclusions......creating a recipe.

Black and White Orzo Cheesy Bean Bake

2 cups orzo
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 onion
1 cup black beans, drained
1-2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sliced black olives

I think that's about it.  Get your pasta water boiling, cheese grated, olives, garlic and onions sliced.  Melt butter and saute the onions and garlic until translucent and softened, then add the flour and stir to blend and cook a bit.  Add the milk gradually, salt and pepper to taste.  You have a basic white sauce here.

Now layer  in a buttered baking dish, first half the cooked, drained pasta, then half the grated cheddar, some Parmesan, then half the beans and a little salt and pepper, and the ricotta.  Next repeat, finishing with white sauce and olives on the top.

A very tasty bake is going over to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted this week by Helen of Fuss Free Flavors.  This ongoing Food Blogger event was started by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, and has been maintained continuously, quite diligently by her for several years now.  We are now on #189.  Awesome.


Ruth Daniels said...

I should be wearng black & white while readng, but I promise to change before I eat! Thanks for sharing a great dish with Presto Pasta Night.

Joanne said...

So much cheesy delicious pasta goodness! I'm enamored. Thoroughly.

Ben said...

I've never heard of orzo before, but the dish sounds and looks very interesting. I should give it a try as soon as I find the main ingredient. hehe

Claudia said...

Thanks, I added a link in case anyone else wasn't sure what orzo was.