Since being back at work again full-time, this time with two
brats wonderful little angels who NEVER whine and always do what they are told, making my evenings sail smoothly into the sunset and never resulting in cracking open a box bottle of wine just to get through bedtime…. /saracasm.
Seriously…I barely have time to think anymore, never mind spend hours cooking gourmet meals that all four of us will eat. BUT, there are still days when I want to feel that my week has been filled with something prettier than cheese, crackers and instant ramen (with a few cucumber slices thrown in for good measure).
That’s when I discovered one-pot meals. And the hubby, who should have been born in Italy, gave this particular one-pot shrimp and tomato orzo all the thumbs up.
This dish is fancy enough for you to light the candles and pour a couple glasses of wine, but easy enough that you can throw it together in under an hour. The flavours are so simple, but they all work perfectly together and make me do a little happy dance whenever I make it.
I highly recommend using jumbo shrimp or prawns (one of those 16/20 count 1 lb bags). Grape or cherry tomatoes are also ideal because they hold up a little better in the cooking. Dried basil can be substituted for the fresh in a pinch, but it will change the flavour so I’d recommend going with the fresh if possible.
Orzo is a pasta that can be tricky to find, especially at large super markets. The smaller grocery stores like Safeway and Co-Op usually have it, and trust me, it helps make this dish, so you absolutely want to track it down.
Without further ado…
Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- 3 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- ¾ pound uncooked orzo pasta
- 3 cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Place oven rack in top position and preheat to 400°F.
- In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 5 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook until fragrant and soft, 3-5 minutes.
- Add wine and scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Increase heat to high and add tomatoes, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 6 minutes.
- Add orzo and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to oven, and bake until liquid is mostly absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in Parmesan.
- Toss shrimp with remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place shrimp on top of orzo.
- Heat broiler to high. Place skillet back in the oven and broil until shrimp are opaque throughout (about 4 minutes for jumbo size). Sprinkle with fresh basil and red pepper flakes and serve.