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Homemade Rice a Roni


Like a lot of kids, I loved it when Mom made Rice-a-Roni as I grew up. I couldn't figure out what the long thin bits in the rice were, even though it said so right on the box: "Roni", a.k.a. pasta. This classic dish is simply a mixture of rice and pasta cooked together with easy spices. Best of all, homemade Rice-a-Roni is dirt cheap and easy to make. You can use spaghetti or any kind of pasta in this dish, but if you want this to look like Rice-A-Roni, use angel hair pasta, which is very thin and no bigger than the rains of rice themselves.

Heat up a cast iron skillet to just under medium heat. (It should not be smoking hot, because we don't want to burn the butter!) As the pan is heating, chop and mince 1/2 an onion. Break pasta into small pieces, 1/2 in long or less.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add uncooked rice and pasta, and minced onion, and cook them in the butter until the onion is soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. When the onion is soft, stir in seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, coriander, turmeric, celery salt. Add chicken broth and stir. Add parsley and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and place a cover over the skillet. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes. Do not uncover the pan until the rice is done. After 20 minutes uncover the pan, stir the rice and pasta, and serve.