orzo pasta
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Spring Shrimp and Asparagus Orzo Pasta

Craving a fresh bite? This spring pasta will hit the spot.

We are willing spring into existence with this recipe. Fresh veggies, seafood, and pasta come together in this dish to make a perfect plate for the season.

Marguerite Henderson shares her secrets to success for making this spring orzo pasta. She also shares how to cook shrimp to perfection.

Follow Marguerite on Instagram, @margueriteh100


Asparagus-Peas-Shrimp Orzo With Parsley Chive Pesto


  • 6-8 cups boiling water to which 1 tablespoon kosher salt has been added
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound orzo pasta (rice shaped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1 pound 21-25 size raw shrimp, tails and shells removed (use more shrimp if serving more than 4 people)


In a pot of boiling water and olive oil, add the orzo pasta; cook for 1 minute and then turn off heat. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes while it “cooks”. Taste for doneness. Strain the pasta. Place in a bowl.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallot and garlic for 1 minute. Add the asparagus spears, stir to coat with oil, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the peas AND the raw shrimp. Cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring often until shrimp are pink. Add the vegetables and shrimp to the bowl of cooked orzo. Slowly drizzle in enough pesto to just coat the pasta, shrimp, and vegetables. Do not drown the pasta. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh chives. Serves 4-6.


Parsley Chive Pesto


  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • ½ – ¾ cup olive oil


In a blender, combine the parsley, chives, lemon juice, garlic, walnuts, salt, pepper, and cheese. Blend on and off while adding the olive oil to form a thick pesto. If too thick, add a little HOT water from tap until desired thickness. Makes about 1 cup pesto. Left over pesto can be refrigerated for 3-4 days. Or can be frozen for up to 2 months.