One Dish Dinners: Orzo with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Feta

This is one of my favorite recipes–sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party (it was my husband’s go-to entertaining meal before we were married) but easy enough to make on a weeknight. It’s also popular with my toddler thanks to the combination of pasta, tomatoes and cheese.

Orzo with Shrimp, Tomatoes and Feta
8 ounces orzo, whole wheat if available
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. wild shrimp, peeled and deveined (ask the fishmonger to do it for you to save time)
1 cup (8 ounces) feta
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tetrapak (or 14-ounce BPA-free can) diced or chopped tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup dry white wine (alcohol burns off so ok to feed to kids)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper (omit or decrease amount if serving to kids)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare orzo as directed. While water is boiling/pasta is cooking, heat approx. 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté until slightly pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. (Shrimp will not be fully cooked.) Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds; add tomatoes and juice. Cook about 1 minutes. Add wine, oregano, red pepper (if using) and 1/4 cup basil. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced to sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain orzo and return to saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup feta, Parmesan, and remaining basil; stir. Transfer orzo-cheese mixture to an 11×7-inch glass baking dish. Place shrimp atop orzo. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over shrimp. Sprinkle with remaining feta and bake until cheese begins to melt and shrimp is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Makes about 4 adult-sized servings.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2003