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Asparagus and Herb Orzo w/Grilled Shrimp

Total Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Total Cook Time: 35 Minutes


Serves: 2-4

Though shrimp skewers go with most things, they pair particularly well with this

risotto-like orzo pasta dish. We set out to make an orzo recipe that was not a soup or salad dish. Though we can't wait to make a few choice orzo salads come summertime, it's more difficult to figure out what to do with it in a transitional season. This creamy dish is cooked similar to a Risotto where the orzo is lightly toasted and then cooked in broth until all liquid is absorbed and takes on an al dente texture.

Orzo is an Italian pasta traditionally used in Italian wedding soup. The pasta became extremely popular in Greek cooking and spread throughout the Mediterranean as well as the Middle East. It is often substituted for rice in certain pilaf dishes or casseroles.


Orzo is best when made with semolina flour because of its density and high protein content. If you have tried to make Orzo before and the pasta seemed to fall apart in the dish, it may have been made with too soft a flour.


Ingredients


Shrimp

1/2 lb Shrimp, skewered

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 tsp Mild Paprika

1 pinch Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp White Pepper

1/2 tsp Salt


Orzo

4 Tbs butter

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 Asparagus Spears, chopped in 1/8ths

1 cup Orzo Pasta

1/2 cup Basil, chopped

2 tbs Mild Paprika

1 tbs Salt

1/2 Cup White Wine

2 Cups Chicken Broth

1/8 Cup Parmesan Cheese



Directions


1. To make the shrimp, mix the Olive Oil, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, White Pepper, and Salt in a small dish.


2. Pour mixture over the shrimp arranged in a shallow dish, ensuring that each shrimp piece is covered. cover the dish and refrigerate for roughly 30 minutes while preparing the orzo.


3. To make the orzo, heat a pan on medium. Add Butter and heat until melted. Add Garlic and cook until the Garlic becomes fragrant (about 1 minute). Add Asparagus Spears and Orzo Pasta. stir continuously until the Orzo becomes slightly browned (5-7 minutes)

4. Stir the Basil, Paprika and Salt into the mixture. Add White Wine and Chicken Broth and cover.


5. Make sure to watch over the Orzo and stir regularly throughout the cooking process. give the mixture a stir every 3-5 minutes while it is cooking. It should take roughly 30 minutes for the liquid to absorb and for the pasta to take on an al dente texture.


6. Once the pasta is plump, with almost all the liquid absorbed, remove the shrimp from the refrigerator and place on a heated grill, about 3-4 minutes per each side.


7. Finish the pasta with parmesan, top with shrimp and enjoy.