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Warm Orzo Salad with Carrots, Fennel and Asiago

Warm Orzo Salad with Carrots, Fennel and Asiago

makes 6-8 servings

1 1/2 cups orzo
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 1/2 cups finely chopped fennel
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Locatelli Romano cheese
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese (3 ounces)

Note: To toast the pine nuts, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

Heat the oil with the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and fennel, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes, adding the onion and garlic, and salt and pepper to taste halfway through. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, 7 minutes. Drain and add to the Dutch oven with the pine nuts, parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring together all of the ingredients. Remove from the heat, transfer to a large serving bowl, and stir in the Romano cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the Asiago cheese.