Friday, February 11, 2011

Orzo Pasta with Shrimp, Pancetta, and Feta Cheese

Orzo (Italian for barley) is a rice shaped pasta, and although it may look small, do not let it fool you - it is very filling.  Orzo can be used in many different dishes in many different ways - it is very versatile! For this dish, I basically used a bunch of ingredients that I needed to use up in my kitchen before they went to waste, and I used a sauce recipe that I found on the Food Network's site.  This is a very easy dish to prepare and flexible in terms of ingredients.
Orzo Pasta
Ingredients:
-1 box Orzo pasta
-2 pounds shrimp (I actually had used up some of mine already so just use whatever you have)
-Pancetta, cubed (use as much as you want! I used about 8 ounces worth)
-1 cup freshly chopped parsley 
-1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
-1 small shallot (about 1/2 cup), chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
-Feta cheese
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Olive oil

Glaze/Sauce:
-1/2 cup lemon juice
-1/2 cup olive oil
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon pepper

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare your cucumber, onion, parsley, and garlic.  Set aside. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a little salt and olive oil to the water.  Add the orzo pasta and simmer for about 10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup of oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a bowl.  Set aside. 

Place the pancetta in an oiled skillet and cook on medium-high heat until crispy.  This will take a little bit so it is okay to leave it going while prepping other ingredients.  When the pancetta is done, make sure to drain and place on a paper towel to help absorb a lot of the oil. 

Spread out your shrimp on a pan, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Lightly toss the shrimp to make sure all of it is coated with the oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 5-6 minutes.  Do not over cook or it the shrimp will be too rubbery. 
By now, the Orzo should be all done.  Drain the pasta and pour into a large bowl.  Pour the glaze over the pasta and mix it up so that all of the Orzo is covered with the glaze.  Then, place all the rest of the ingredients, veggies, garlic, shrimp, and pancetta into the bowl.  Mix well until all ingredients are combined.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  Add the feta cheese last.  Add as much or as little as you wish.  The feta really adds a great flavor to this dish so I tend to use a lot of it! 

Using a pasta scoop, place the orzo on a dish and sprinkle with a little more feta cheese to finish it off.  Serve warm with a nice glass of white wine and enjoy! 

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6 comments:

  1. What a flavorful combination! I love anything with feta. :)

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  2. I would love to have some...than some more please! Looks wonderful, thank you for sharing :)

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  3. Oh that looks so good ... love that you added feta to it!

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  4. Yes I love feta so much! I even add it to my shrimp scampi :)

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  5. I'm super amazed at your non-dessert recipes. Keep up the good work on the variety!

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