8ouncesuncooked whole wheat orzo pastaI like DeLallo
2cupsreduced sodium chicken broth
1large lemonzest and juice (about 1/4 cup)
1/2cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheesedivided
2tablespoonschopped fresh parsleyplus additional for serving
Lemon wedgesfor serving
Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the shrimp in a small bowl, sprinkle with pepper and salt, and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the orzo. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the orzo until it's lightly browned and smells toasty, about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and 1/2 cup water. Bring the liquid to a boil. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan so that you loosen any stuck pasta. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan again. Add the asparagus, recover, then continue cooking until the pasta is just becoming tender, about 10 minutes. The pasta will look a little liquidy. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, parsley, and the seasoned shrimp. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top.
Bake the pasta, uncovered, just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes. The shrimp will be pink, fairly firm, and opaque—do not overcook. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
TO STORE: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.