Orzo and Tomato "Risotto" Milanese

Source: Culinary Flavors and Epicurious
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

1 (1-lb) box orzo
1 cup tomato sauce or juice
1 cup chicken stock (more if needed)
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
salt and black pepper, to taste

Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling salted water until barely al dente, about five minutes. Drain in a colander.

Pour orzo into a heavy saucepan and add stock, tomato juice or sauce, and the bay leaf. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until stock is almost absorbed.  Remove bay leaf and stir in cheese, thyme, butter or oil, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.