Orzo with Shrimp, Tomato Sauce, and Feta Cheese
A rustic, comfort food that is easy to prepare and extremely versatile. The hot orzo softens the bits of Feta cheese to a creamy consistency, making the combination especially appealing when served warm. But it's good at room temperature too, for those hot summer days...and nights.
Try substituting goat cheese for Feta, or green olives for the Kalamatas, adjust the amount of chile peppers to suit your taste.
This recipe is adapted from Gourmet Magazine.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cook the onion, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes in 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy pot over medium high heat. Cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, for about three minutes.
Add the wine and boil until reduced by about one-half.
Stir in the tomatoes and salt, reduce heat, and simmer briskly, stirring frequently. In about eight minutes the mixture will thicken slightly.
Stir the shrimp into the sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about three minutes.
While the sauce and the shrimp are cooking, cook the orzo in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the orzo thoroughly.
Return the cooked orzo to the pot and toss with the remaining oil.
Stir in the sauce with the shrimp and the reserved cooking water. Add the olives, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon half of the orzo into an oiled glass baking dish, 9 X 13 inches. Sprinkle with half of the feta cheese. Top with the remaining pasta and the remaining feta.
Bake in the middle of the oven, uncovered, until the cheese is melted and the pasta is heated through, about 15 minutes.