- Heat a large (10-12”/25.4-30.5 cm) skillet or braiser over medium, then add the olive oil until shimmering.
- Stir in the onion, and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Stir and cook for another minute.
- Add in the orzo, stirring to coat and lightly toast, about a minute or 2.
- Deglaze with the wine, add in the sun-dried tomatoes, and sun-dried tomato oil. Stir and simmer for a minute or two until half of the liquid cooks off.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil, stirring often to prevent the orzo from sticking to the bottom.
- As soon as the pasta is boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer for 5-8 minutes until the orzo is nearly al dente – if the heat is left too high, the liquid will cook down before the orzo is cooked. Do not cover. If you like your bell pepper soft, add it while the orzo cooks. I add it at the end of the pasta cooking so that it remains crisp.
- Add the chickpeas, sliced pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh dill. Continue to simmer until the orzo is al dente and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach and olives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cherry tomatoes or serve on top.
- Serve with vegan tzatziki and flatbread, if desired.
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can be frozen in an airtight container for about 3 months but will naturally be much softer once defrosted. To avoid this as much as possible, slightly undercook your pasta if you know ahead of time that you’ll be freezing it.
When reheating leftover pasta, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil (or a pat of vegan butter) and some salt to help brighten the flavors.