Orzo, also known as risoni, is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. The name orzo is common for this pasta shape in North America, and less common in Italy; the Italian word orzo actually means barley. Orzo cooks quick and it’s easy to eat! I like that the small shapes are easy to pick up with other ingredients to create the perfect bite.
This dish highlights rich, earthy, and also fresh flavors. The orzo, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, shrimp, and sauce made with tomato paste, basil and the juices from the marinated artichokes come together beautifully. The tomato paste adds a rich tomato flavor that complements the chunks of the sun-dried variety. The plump seared shrimp add an extra element to make this a complete meal.
To make the sauce sing a little song, I add a little bit of the starchy pasta cooking water. This helps thicken the sauce and stick to the pasta. Have you done this when making pasta? It’s a great tip to use in other pasta recipes. Just a splash of that cooking water helps to turn a regular sauce into a velvety and smooth sauce that coats the pasta evenly.
In Italy we typically don’t eat cheese with seafood. For this reason I don’t top with added cheese. If it suits you, add a little sprinkle of parmeggiano! Make it your own or serve it the traditional way sans cheese. Enjoy around a table of friends and family and it’s a recipe for a lovely time.
Made with Amore,
Lovely and flavorful Orzo pasta recipe with Shrimp, artichoke and sun-dried tomatoes. Perfect for both a weeknight meal and a fancy occasion! Have this dinner ready in 35 minutes.
- 12 oz can marinated artichokes hearts
- 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 Tbs tomato paste (Cento Brand)
- 2 Tablespoon dried basil
- 3 garlic cloves, cut in chunks
- 1 pound raw fresh shrimp (or frozen and thawed, pat dry to remove moisture)
- 4 Tbs olive oil (2 Tbs for cooking shrimp 2 Tbs for sauce)
- 1 box 454 g. Orzo pasta (Barilla brand)
- Coarse sea salt for pasta water
- salt for seasoning
- In a large serving bowl add the marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, and 2 Tbs olive oil, mix until combined
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the orzo and cook according to “al dente” directions (about 9 minutes). When the orzo is cook reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add in to the bowl of artichokes and other ingredients.
- Drain the Orzo and add it to the serving bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Gently toss to combine. Cover with a lid and let marinate until the shrimp are cooked.
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 2 Tbs olive oil and garlic. Add the shrimp one at a time (without overcrowding the pan or they will boil). You may cook them in two batches
- Cook the shrimp on high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. This gets a nice sear on the shrimp. Depending on shrimp size you may need a little more or a little less time. Make sure they are cooked all the way through and have a pink color.
- Add the shrimp and garlic to the top of the prepared pasta.
- Sprinkle with extra basil and serve!
Serve warm or cold! Excellent as leftovers
Keywords: orzo, pasta, shrimp, shrimp pasta, artichoke, sundried tomatoes, pasta, pasta salad, italian recipes