This is one of those dishes that looks and sounds and tastes so decadent that anyone will believe you’re a serious chef. Truthfully, it took about 25 minutes of preparation – and much less time to eat. It’s not a classic risotto in that it’s not made from arborio rice and it’s not packed with butter and parmesan cheese, but I’d never trade this for plain old buttered rice. It was a perfect weekend dinner.
The orzo pasta doesn’t absorb as much liquid as a traditional risotto, but cooking it in vegetable broth rather than stirring the other ingredients into pre-cooked pasta really adds to the flavor (similar to one pot mac & cheese).
I purchased a small container of uncooked, peeled & deveined shrimp, and briefly cooked them along with the rice to impart a little more flavor – but then set them aside so they didn’t get over cooked.
I love asparagus, and these were actually leftover from a previous meal, so they just had to heat through at the end as well. Instead of parmesan, I used a bit of smoked gouda cheese to add a rich flavor to the risotto and topped it with a pinch of romano for extra saltiness.
- 1 cup whole wheat orzo
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and washed
- 3/4 cup chopped asparagus (you could use canned)
- 1/4 cup unflavored, unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- grated romano or parmesan for garnish
- Sautee onion in large pot over medium heat until softened. Add pasta and cook one minute.
- Off the flame, add wine and cook until most of the liquid has boiled off.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth, thyme, garlic powder, and paprika. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer; add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes, then remove shrimp & set aside.
- Stir in milk. Cook pasta until desired tenderness, adding extra broth as needed, about 10 minutes.
- Return shrimp to pot and add asparagus, cooking until heated through. Stir in shredded cheese, remove from heat, and serve.
- Makes 3 entree size servings.
Approximate nutrition (per serving): 300 calories, 7 grams fat, 33 grams carbs, 25 grams protein
What’s your favorite seafood dish? Mine is grilled chilean sea bass, but it’s endangered and super expensive, so I don’t have it too often. I love shrimp because you can prepare them so many different ways.