When spring finally arrives and lighter flavors are called for, seasonal fresh peas should be cooked up as often as possible. I think there’s no more delightful way to enjoy them than tossed with shrimp, ripe tomatoes, and prosciutto. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh pea tendrils (sold separately from the peas themselves) in your farmers’ market, snap them up and add them to the sauce just before you serve it over a bed of orzo.
- 5 cups defatted chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 2 cups orzo pasta
- ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- ¼ pound prosciutto, sliced 1/8 inch thick, slivered
- ½ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) peas, blanched for 3 to 5 minutes if fresh
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup torn fresh basil leaves
1. Prepare the orzo: Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, and return the orzo to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover to keep warm.
2. Prepare the shrimp: Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, and remove and discard the seeds and core. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, shaking the pan, until wilted, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, prosciutto, and peas. Cook, shaking the pan, until the tomatoes are softened, 5 minutes.
4. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil and cook, shaking the pan and turning the shrimp, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Serve the shrimp over the orzo in shallow bowls.