Orzo is a barley pasta but is often confused with rice because of its similar size and shape. Like most pastas, orzo is used predominantly in Italian cuisine. The process of cooking orzo is much like the process of cooking any other pasta.
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt and olive oil if desired.
Add the orzo and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (retaining a somewhat firm texture). This could take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the quantity added.
Strain the pasta, allowing the water to completely drain.
Serve the orzo.
If using the orzo in a soup, prepare the orzo separately and add just before serving to avoid overcooking.