Orzo with prawns, tomato and marinated feta

This dish is one of those rare examples of something that tastes like much more effort went into it than actually did. Depending on the quality of your tomatoes, you made need to up the tomato-ness with some tomato paste. Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi.

Ingredients

  • 200 g feta, broken into 1-2 cm chunks
  • 1 t chili flakes
  • 2 T fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 250 g orzo
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 c vegetable stock
  • 400 g raw shelled prawns
  • A large handful of basil leaves, roughly shredded
  • 1-2 T tomato paste
  • Salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the feta with a 1/2 t chili flakes, 1 T fennel seeds, and 1 T olive oil. Set aside while you cook the orzo.
  2. Heat a large frying pan (for which you have a lid) over medium-high heat. Add 2 T oil, the orzo, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
  3. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Return the pan to the same heat and add the remaining 2 T of oil, 1/2 t flakes, 1 T fennel seeds, and garlic. Fry for a minute, until the garlic starts to brown lightly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, 3/4 t salt, and plenty of pepper.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until boiling, then stir in the fried orzo.
  7. Cover, then lower the heat to medium low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the orzo is cooked.
  8. Remove the lid and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the consistency is like a risotto.
  9. Stir in the prawns for two to three minutes, until they turn pink and are cooked.
  10. Stir in the basil and serve at once with the marinated feta sprinkled on top.

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