Our beautiful spring weather has me thinking about lighter meals and meals that are quick and easy to pull together in a short amount of time. Think meals that can be eaten outside on paper plates, or that work just as well for a nice dinner with family or friends, or could even be served at a luncheon or shower. This versatile, healthy Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Pasta dish is one of our favorite meals and quite possibly our favorite leftover dish.
Like many recipes with pasta, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it tastes. Roasted Shrimp and Orzo is also one of those dishes that travel well, you can make it well ahead of time, and it’s simple but scrumptious!
Orzo just happens to be my husband’s favorite pasta, and shrimp is my favorite shellfish, so it’s a marriage made in heaven. Tender, juicy roasted shrimp, tossed with orzo pasta, mixed with fresh dill, parsley, scallions, and a yummy lemony vinaigrette dressing, and then topped with tangy feta cheese. It will knock your socks off! Absolutely delicious! I can hardly wait for dinner tonight!
So without further ado, let’s get started. (I’ll bet some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking I should have used “adieu” in that last sentence. And, in fact, that’s exactly what I originally had. But it didn’t look right so just to be on the safe side; I checked with my pal “Siri” and she said that many folks confuse the two words because they sound the same. It’s what’s called an “eggcorn”. Thank goodness, she saved me from that faux pas! For the record, adieu means goodbye, and ado is bustle, flurry or fuss.
Sorry, I’ve gotten way off track here; back to this recipe which is fuss-free. First, you will need to gather your ingredients: orzo pasta, shrimp, lemons, olive oil, salt and pepper, fresh dill, parsley, scallions and feta cheese.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place the shrimp on a large sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to make sure the shrimp are coated and spread out in a single layer. (Yes, I was a little heavy-handed with the pepper…)
Roast the shrimp for approximately 6-9 minutes or until they are pink and cooked through. Do not overcook.
Fill a large pot with water and add 2 tsp of kosher salt and a splash of olive oil. Put over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 9-10 minutes, or until it is tender.
While the pasta and shrimp are cooking, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
When the orzo is done, drain it, and immediately add it to the Lemon Vinaigrette. Mix well. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes for the hot orzo to absorb the liquid.
Add the shrimp, scallions, dill, and parsley and toss well. Add the feta and combine carefully.
Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop, or refrigerate until time to serve. Can be eaten cold or at room temperature.
**Wine Pairing: If you would like to pair Roasted Shrimp and Orzo with wine, Pinot Gris with its citrus flavors would compliment the delicate shrimp and lemon flavor of the pasta.
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