I’m not sure why I made back to back shrimp dinners last week, but when I got my hands on some marinated feta from Brazos Valley Cheese I knew I wanted to make this exact dish. The feta is marinated with organic, extra-virgin Spanish olive oil, homegrown fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic cloves. I honestly could have just eaten it with a spoon. And I might have accidentally done that before I got a chance to take a picture of the jar. Oops.
It’s softer than your typical grocery store feta, but still has slightly salty, sharp flavor. It was a perfect accompaniment to this easy, weeknight pasta.
I love this dish. I wouldn’t normally think of pairing pasta and feta together, but it’s really a great match. It also makes for fabulous leftovers with some extra feta piled on top.
Orzo with Shrimp, Feta Cheese, and White Wine (Bon Apetit, April 2003)
8 ounces orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 garlic cloves, chopped
28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (I used Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes – AWESOME)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush 11×7-inch glass baking dish with oil. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain well and return orzo to same pot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons basil; stir to blend. Arrange orzo mixture in prepared dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and sauté until slightly pink, about 2 minutes (shrimp will not be cooked through). Arrange shrimp atop orzo. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to same skillet. Add garlic and sauté over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with juice; cook 1 minute. Stir in wine, oregano, crushed red pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup basil. Simmer uncovered until reduced to thick sauce consistency, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper; spoon over shrimp. Bake orzo until heated through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup feta cheese and serve.