I’m back! I took a little hiatus as things at work got really, really crazy and I haven’t had as much time to post. I return with the perfect ‘nearing the end of summer’ recipe! This summer orzo with shrimp and basil combines all of late summer’s best flavors in a delicious, easy-to-prepare dinner that everyone will love.
Just look how beautiful and fresh that dish is!
Get creative with this recipe and use herbs that you have on hand. Try this with Thai basil, mint, parsley, or even a little fresh tarragon!
Summer Orzo with Shrimp and Basil
- Large pot
- Wide pot
- 16 ounces orzo
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes
- 2 ounces fresh basil divided
- 6 cloves of garlic divided
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 anchovy filets from a tin, packed in oil
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the pasta instructions and reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain and rinse the orzo and toss with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- Halve the tomatoes. Pick the basil leaves from the stems and reserve a few small leaves for garnish. Mince the garlic. Pat the shrimp dry and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Tomatoes:
- In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes with half the garlic and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add all but the reserved basil leaves, tearing them in half before adding. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside.
Start the Sauce Base:
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a wide pot over medium-high until hot. Add the anchovy filets and 1 teaspoon of the oil from the tin and cook, mashing them with a wooden spoon until they've 'melted'.
- Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper to taste (a healthy shake) and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and toss to combine. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the reserved pasta water along with ½ cup water (or stock or white wine). Cook for 5 more minutes until beginning to thicken slightly. If desired, add a pinch of sugar.
Finish the Orzo with Shrimp:
- Add the shrimp to the sauce and cover. Cook for 5 minutes until just opaque. Stir in the cooked orzo and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and zest and cook for 2-4 more minutes until the shrimp are completely cooked through. Turn off the heat.
- Divide the orzo with shrimp between bowls and serve with a few small basil leaves. Enjoy!