Photo: Jennifer Causey
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

We apply the risotto cooking method to pasta instead of rice for an easy, comforting main dish.Toasting the orzo in oil coats the grains so they will absorb the stock slowly and release their starches into the sauce. This happens quickly—just 15 minutes compared to the 20 to 30 minute preparation of most risottos. Cream cheese adds body and a luxurious creaminess. Shrimp and peas are a delicious duo, but you could substitute any combination like mushrooms and asparagus, chicken sausage and spinach, or parboiled butternut squash and pecans.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender and translucent, stirring frequently. Add orzo; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring to coat. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

Step 2

Add 2 cups stock and salt to pan; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups stock, peas, rind, and shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove pan from heat; stir in juice, pepper, and cream cheese. Divide shrimp mixture evenly among 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle with chives.

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