Orzo Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli

Orzo is often overlooked when choosing pasta shapes, but I love it in this simple pasta dish with shrimp and broccoli. The dish is light and easy to make and works well most any time of the year.
The key to getting great flavor in the dish is the use of lemon zest - and for that you need a Microplane zester.I prefer to buy just the broccoli florets for cooking, but if you don't mind peeling the tough stems you can certainly cut them up and use them in addition to the florets.
Orzo with Shrimp and Broccoli
Serves 4

8 ounces orzo pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup white wine, or chicken stock
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for topping
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large pot of water to boiling and add orzo to cook. When orzo has about 2 minutes remaining to cook, add broccoli to the same pot with the orzo and cook for remaining 2 minutes. Drain broccoli and pasta together. While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, then add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add shrimp to pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Add lemon juice, zest, optional red pepper flakes, and wine or stock, stirring to lift any browned bits from the pan. Add broccoli and orzo, and cook for about 1 minute for flavors to meld. Remove from heat and toss with Parmigiano cheese; add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with extra cheese for topping.

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