Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
~ Federico Fellini
One of the nicest emails you can get whilst travelling and missing your kitchen is an invitation to sample recipes from a (then) soon to be released cookbook. Especially one with such yummy-sounding dishes as “Warm Salad of Lamb, Asparagus, Spring Onions and Pomegranate Seeds with Lentil and Black Olives” and “Rolled Baklava with Orange Syrup and Greek Yoghurt”… I had a hard time deciding what to ask for!
Ultimately, I decided to request for the recipe for the “Prawns with Orzo, Tomato, Spinach and Feta” (original recipe included below) since I like every ingredient in that title and had never cooked orzo before.
It was a pleasure to cook this dish, simple yet good-looking, fresh and full of wonderful smells. I used a deep wok and modified the recipe slightly to suit what we had in our pantry (less spinach than the recipe specified, and herbs from a tube as opposed to fresh) – and used more prawns as I couldn’t find larger ones at the supermarket. Though I am sure it would have tasted even better had I followed the recipe properly, I also like that the recipe is pretty versatile and forgiving!
We had it with a squeeze of balsamic glaze, both pretty on the plate and complementary to the dish (I recommend it). Three of us ate our fill last night and we had plenty left over, which incidentally made for a delicious lunch for me today!
- Prawns with Orzo, Tomato, Spinach and Feta
From The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook
16-20 large prawns, peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1⁄2 cups orzo
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
9 spring onions, thickly sliced
1⁄2 cup chicken stock
5 large tomatoes, roughly chopped 1 cup passata
200g crumbled feta cheese
6 cups baby spinach leaves
Small handful of torn fresh herbs such as dill, mint and parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Season prawns with salt and pepper.
- Cook orzo until done, toss in one tablespoon of oil and reserve.
- In a large heavy skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for a minute. Add the spring onions and prawns, sear quickly, then remove prawns to reserved orzo. Add chicken stock, tomatoes and passata. Continue to reduce the liquid until mixture has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Return the orzo and prawns, half the feta, and the spinach back into the tomato sauce and toss to combine. As soon as the spinach has wilted, scatter over the remaining feta, fresh herbs and glaze with olive oil.
Thank you, publicity team at The Second Black Dog Cottage Cookbook, for the chance to sample this winning recipe :-)