Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Baked Shrimp and Feta Pasta

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I was looking for a baked pasta, which can be a recipe for disaster. Any luck I've had with baked pasta has been by subverting the original procedures in the hope of making something lighter (such as this baked ziti recipe). But it was cold outside, and I really wanted something that would be warming and relatively easy to throw together for a dinner party.

At some point I went from bland and cheesy versions of baked manicotti to this recipe from Closet Cooking. The use of orzo, fresh herbs, shrimp, and feta cheese, really jumped out at me because it didn't seem needlessly heavy. It actually looked balanced.

This is actually a spin on a Greek dish called Garides Saganaki, which certainly explains the use of feta instead of something like mozzarella. I also love the orzo. It provides a great contrast to the sauce, which is bright and fresh, thanks to a healthy sprinkling of herbs and just enough red pepper flakes to provide that warming hum of spice.

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