Shrimp & Orzo
1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
salt & pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped, reserving about 2 T. of the feathery fennel fronds for garnish
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
6 loves of garlic, minced
3/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. orzo pasta
3/4 c. dry white wine
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 c. water
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
4 t. chopped fresh oregano (1 t. dried can be subbed)
2 T. chopped fresh parsley, divinded
6 oz. package of crumbled feta cheese
lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Season the shrimp with salt & pepper, refrigerate until ready to use. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion, fennel bulb and 1/2 t. salt. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened and starting to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, cook and stir until the garlic becomes very fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the orzo to the vegetables, stir to coat the orzo with oil, continue cooking, stirring fairly constantly, about 4 minutes, until the orzo has a toasty aroma. Add the wine, cook,stirring constantly, until the liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, water and 1/4 t. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, simmer, until the orzo is almost completely tender, about 12 minutes, stirring fairly constantly to prevent sticking and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a lively simmer.
After the 12 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the shrimp, tomatoes, oregano and 1 T. of the parsley. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the feta. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked through and the feta is lightly browned. Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and the reserved fennel fronds. Serve with lemon wedges.