Orzo Pasta With Shrimp, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes

6 servings
25 min

Orzo, also known as risoni, is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. The name orzo is common for this pasta shape in North America, and less common in Italy; the Italian word orzo actually means barley. Orzo cooks quick and it’s easy to eat! I like that the small shapes are easy to pick up with other ingredients to create the perfect bite.

This dish highlights rich, earthy, and also fresh flavors. The orzo, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, shrimp, and sauce made with tomato paste, basil and the juices from the marinated artichokes come together beautifully. The tomato paste adds a rich tomato flavor that complements the chunks of the sun-dried variety. The plump seared shrimp add an extra element to make this a complete meal.

To make the sauce sing a little song, I add a little bit of the starchy pasta cooking water. This helps thicken the sauce and stick to the pasta. Have you done this when making pasta? It’s a great tip to use in other pasta recipes. Just a splash of that cooking water helps to turn a regular sauce into a velvety and smooth sauce that coats the pasta evenly.

In Italy we typically don’t eat cheese with seafood. For this reason I don’t top with added cheese. If it suits you, add a little sprinkle of parmeggiano! Make it your own or serve it the traditional way sans cheese. Enjoy around a table of friends and family and it’s a recipe for a lovely time.

Made with Amore,


Orzo Pasta With Shrimp, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 12 oz can marinated artichokes hearts
  • 1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste (Cento Brand)
  • 2 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut in chunks
  • 1 pound raw fresh shrimp  (or frozen and thawed, pat dry to remove moisture)
  • 4 Tbs olive oil (2 Tbs for cooking shrimp 2 Tbs for sauce)
  • 1 box 454 g. Orzo pasta (Barilla brand)
  • Coarse sea salt for pasta water
  • salt for seasoning

In a large serving bowl add the marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, and 2 Tbs olive oil, mix until combined
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the orzo and cook according to “al dente” directions (about 9 minutes). When the orzo is cook reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add in to the bowl of artichokes and other ingredients.
Drain the Orzo and add it to the serving bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Gently toss to combine. Cover with a lid and let marinate until the shrimp are cooked.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 2 Tbs olive oil and garlic. Add the shrimp one at a time (without overcrowding the pan or they will boil). You may cook them in two batches
Cook the shrimp on high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. This gets a nice sear on the shrimp. Depending on shrimp size you may need a little more or a little less time. Make sure they are cooked all the way through and have a pink color.
Add the shrimp and garlic to the top of the prepared pasta.
Sprinkle with extra basil and serve!
  • Serve warm or cold! Excellent as leftovers
Elena  @mamamiammangia__
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