One Pot Dinners: Seafood Orzo
By Dorothy Miles
I usually have a pack of prawns stashed in the freezer for speedy suppers and this is one of my favourites. It also works really well with squid rings which can also be found in the freezer. If you wanted to jazz it up for a weekend treat, you could add some slices of scallop, big fresh prawns and maybe some clams for an extra hit of seafood indulgence! I vary the type of tomato I use according to the season: when it’s summer and the tomatoes are deep red and juicy I use fresh but in the winter, I use tinned. Serve with a peppery rocket salad on the side.
- 1 white onion
- 1 large clove garlic
- 6 large fresh tomatoes (or about a dozen smaller ones, or half a tin)
- 100ml white wine
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 140g orzo pasta
- 150-180g defrosted prawns or squid rings
- olive oil (for cooking and for drizzling)
Begin by finely dicing the onion. It’s worth spending a bit of time here to get small, even chunks that match the size of the pasta pieces. Heat a glug of olive oil in a high sided frying pan with a lid and gently sweat the onions until they are translucent, then grate in the clove of garlic and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
Quarter the tomatoes (if you’re using fresh). Add the wine to the pan, allowing it to bubble rapidly for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of chilli flakes. Bring it to the boil then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, until you have a chunky tomato sauce. Taste and season.
Add the pasta and 100ml water to loosen the sauce a little. As the pasta cooks, it will absorb some of the liquid and we don’t want the orzo to stick.
Check the packet to see how long to orzo will take (it’s usually around 10 minutes) and then pop the lid on and leave the pasta to cook. Stir a couple of times throughout the cooking process to check it’s not sticking and getting too dry. Add a splash more water if needed.
After about 5 minutes, think about adding your seafood. Seafood cooks at different rates – regular frozen prawns will take about 4 minutes to cook (very large ones may need longer) so add these now in order to avoid overcooking the orzo. Squid rings and scallops will only take 1-2 minutes so add these later. Orzo overcooks very quickly!
Spoon the pasta into bowls and garnish with your best extra virgin olive oil and a few shavings of parmesan. Serve with a crisp salad.