This simple tomato broth is, like, my newest, favoritest thing in the universe. It’s spicy, aromatic, and best of all, super duper simple to make.

This is the perfect meal to make for date night, you can sub the shrimp with halibut (also pictured), scallops, or your favorite flaky white fish. You can also serve this with clams or mussels! Overall, it’s a super versatile meal that tastes simply delicious.

GRADE

Serves: 2

Cost: $$

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 40 minutes (25 minutes inactive)

INGREDIENTS FOR SIMPLE TOMATO BROTH WITH SEAFOOD

TOMATO BROTH

1 red Fresno chili pepper

6 cloves garlic

2 shallots

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups low or no sodium chicken stock

1 cup water

Pinch of sugar, to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup reserved pasta cooking water

SEAFOOD AND ORZO

1 pound seafood of your choice (The recipe below uses shrimp)

8 ounces dry orzo

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

FOR SERVING

A few fresh basil and parsley leaves to taste

METHOD

Prepare Ingredients: Pat the shrimp dry and chill in the fridge until ready to cook. Finely mince the chili pepper, garlic, and shallot. Thinly slice the basil leaves and roughly chip the parsley.

Cook the Orzo: Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo for 7-8 minutes until al dente. Do not overcook the orzo. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining the orzo. Transfer the orzo to a bowl and toss with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.

Prepare the Broth: While the orzo is cooking, start the broth. In a saucepan or saucier pan, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced shallot, garlic, and red Fresno chili pepper. Cook for 45 seconds until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir frequently, lightly mashing the paste into the vegetables in the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the paste begins to deepen in color. Add the chicken stock and stir the paste into the broth until smooth. Add the 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of sugar and reduce heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. After 20 minutes, taste the broth and season according to your tastes and cook an additional 5 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Clean out the saucepan and add the broth back to the pan and stir in the 1/3 cup reserved orzo cooking water. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.

Cook the Shrimp: 5 minutes before the broth is finished cooking, prepare the seafood. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium high. Add the shrimp and cook in an even layer, without moving for 1 minute 30 seconds. Flip and cook an additional 1 minute 30 seconds or until the shrimp are just opaque. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Note: Do not over-crowd the skillet; cook the shrimp in batches if necessary.

To Serve: Divide the orzo between bowls. Ladle half the tomato broth over each bowl of orzo and arrange the seafood on top. Garnish with the fresh basil and parsley leaves. Enjoy!

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