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Orzo pasta is the lazy person’s risotto. Orzo looks like rice but it’s actually pasta and is cooked in a similar manner to pasta which means no standing over the burner stirring for 20 minutes as is the case with risotto. This meal is simple for a quick mid-week nosh or served with some wine, crusty bread and a simple leafy green salad for entertaining. I’ve used scallops, shrimp and squid.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 10
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Lovoni


  • 14-inch deep skillet


  • 24 raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 oz cleaned squid hoods, sliced I used rings and tentacles
  • 12 oz jumbo scallops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta 12oz/340g
  • 1/2 cup dry Vermouth or dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 8.5 oz jar sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers chili flakes
  • A generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated fresh parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish


  • Place the shrimp, squid and scallops on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of paper towel and lightly press down to remove any moisture.
  • In a large (14-inch/35cm) deep, frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Add the scallops. Cook for 2 minutes each side until brown; remove to a plate.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes until garlic is softened and fragrant.
  • Add the orzo pasta and stir to coat the pasta in oil. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring, until almost all the vermouth is absorbed. Add the broth, tomato, red pepper, salt and freshly cracked pepper. Bring to a boil the reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, stirring once during cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and squid; stir. Cook, covered for 5 minutes, stirring once, until almost all the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is al dente.
  • Add the scallops; stir. Cook, covered for 2 minutes until the scallops are hot and most of the liquid in the orzo pasta is absorbed.
  • Add the basil and 1 1/2 cups of parmesan. Stir until well combined. Spoon the pasta into individual bowls and serve with extra basil leaves and parmesan if desired. Serves 8.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 792mg | Potassium: 682mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 476IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 237mg | Iron: 2mg