Orzo Skillet with Shrimp and Feta

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There are a whole lot of culinary faux pas out there — combining seafood and cheese is one of them. I can’t say you’ll find me grating Parmesan cheese over my linguine and clams anytime soon — but just like everything, there are exceptions. This dish is one of them.

It’s inspired by garides saganaki, a classic Greek dish of shrimp swimming in spiced tomato sauce that’s topped with crumbled feta and broiled. Both the shrimp and feta are inherently briny, so it’s a pretty natural match, and the salty cheese plays so well off the sweet crustaceans. Here I couldn’t help but add chewy, rice-like orzo, which cooks right in the tomato sauce so there’s no need to boil a separate pot of water. It’s a one-pan dinner that may feel like you’re breaking some rules, but you’ll be happy you did.

Orzo Skillet with Shrimp and Feta

YIELDServes 4

PREP TIME5 minutes to 10 minutes

COOK TIME18 minutes to 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 (28-ounce) canwhole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups(10 ounces) orzo pasta
  • 4 clovesgarlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoondried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoonred pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ouncesuncooked medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ouncesfeta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • Coarsely chopped fresh mint, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Empty the canned tomatoes with their juices into a large bowl and carefully crush them with your hands (you’ll have some bite-size pieces remaining). Set aside.

  2. Place a rack in the top third of the oven (6 to 8 inches from the broiling element) and preheat the broiler to high.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium. Add the orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, the liquid is absorbed, and a thick sauce has formed, about 10 minutes. Stir a few times while simmering to ensure the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet. Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper.

  4. Stir the orzo once more, spread it into an even layer, and scatter the shrimp and feta over the top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the shrimp are pink and opaque and the feta is softened and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with mint before serving.

 

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