600 g fresh shrimps
250 g orzo
150 g finocchio
50 ml. ouzo or white wine
50 g butter
40 g olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
50 g Arseniko of Naxos
Freshly ground pepper
1200 ml. water
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig celery
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
4-5 black peppercorns
Peel the shrimps and remove the heads, which are put in a saucepan to prepare the broth.
With a knife, cut and remove from each shrimp the black intestine. Rinse and keep the shrimp aside.
Put in the pot with the shells and heads, all the above ingredients for the broth and boil for about 20 minutes. Pass the broth through a sieve and keep it hot.
For the orzo, finely chop the onion and finocchio into thin slices. In a large-sized pan, sauté in olive oil onions and finocchio until they are softened and then add the orzo.
Stir continuously and when the orzo is glistening, add tomato paste, pepper, wine and start adding the hot broth. Add it in 5-6 doses, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon.
When the orzo is nearly done and you have 1 dose of the broth left, add it along with the shrimp, season with salt and a little more pepper.
Stir for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Orzo must be juicy and thickened. Then add the butter and the Naxos cheese and finely chop finocchio's green leaves.
Dangle lightly and cover the pan. Before serving, stir and add to each plate some fresh fennel finely chopped.
- You can add 3-4 anise seeds for extra flavor and taste
- We prefer fresh shrimps but it is not necessary
- Alternatively you can use a spicy Gruyere
- Orzo can be made with other seafood such as shellfish, squid or cuttlefish
- Be careful to remove the orzo from the heat while it is quite juicy and al dente because ti tends to absorb the liquids and continue cooking
- You can add some sundried tomatoes