I recently made this and received great reviews from my family & friends who tried it. When trying a new recipe, I make it as is and adjust seasonings along the way, take notes as the dish comes together. Per my palate I felt it needed something more and here’s what I came up with. I added Romano cheese, lemon zest, broth, more garlic, shrimp, extra salt.
2 tbsp. unsalted butter + 2 tbsp EVOO
2 medium zucchini, shredded
2 medium carrots, washed and shredded
1 medium yellow squash, shredded
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
5 garlic cloves, grated/finely minced or 5 tsps from jar
1 tbsp. finely minced thyme (few thyme sprigs for garnish)
16ozs. Orzo (check box, most are 12ozs)
6 – 8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1.5 #’s raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsps. grated lemon peel, finely minced, divided
Parmesan or Romano cheese, freshly grated
Bring a high sided 12-inch skillet up to heat over medium high. Add in the butter and 2 tbsp. of EVOO.
Once the butter has melted add in the shredded zucchini, carrots and yellow squash. Sauté for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to soften and wilt down.
Liberally season with salt and pepper then turn the heat down to medium low. Add in the garlic and thyme and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. If the skillet looks too dry you can add 1-2 tbsp. more of EVOO.
Next add in the orzo followed by the stock (6 cups). Stir together and bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium low for 18-20 minutes or until almost all the liquid has absorbed, and the orzo is tender. Be sure to stir often so the orzo doesn’t stick to the bottom. If the broth evaporates too quickly, turn down the heat and add in ½ C of broth at a time. Stir to incorporate.
Lastly, add in the shrimp, lemon zest and thyme, ½ C Parmesan/Romano cheese, stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Add more stock as needed. By adding these extra items, it will thicken quicker. Keep a cup or 2 of stock nearby if dish becomes too thick.
Remove from heat and taste/season, adding more salt or pepper as needed.
Scoop into shallow bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with thyme sprigs and lemon zest.