Orzo pasta salad is super-easy, stores and travels well, and is lovely served cold—in other words, a perfect summer side dish! The quantities below are for a very large batch, to take to a pot-luck or serve family style.
500 grams (a little over 1 pound) of orzo pasta
350 grams (1 cup circa) of baby shrimp, peeled, cooked and chilled (use more if you love shrimp!)
4 Tbls mayonnaise (homemade if possible)
2 or 3 green onions (aka scallions), finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh chive, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
Cook the pasta al dente, strain and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped onion, shrimp, mayo and lemon juice and stir very well. Taste before salting, as the saltiness of this dish will depend on the shrimp, the kind of mayo used, and whether you salted your pasta water (you should). Fresh ground pepper is optional. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving, but remove from the fridge about 5 minutes before serving and toss well again. If the salad is dry, add a little more mayo and/or lemon juice. Sprinkle with the chopped chive and serve.
*culture bite: orzo means barley in Italian, and the shape of the barley grain accounts for this pasta’s name. Italians call this pasta risoni, which means a large grain of rice.