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Creamy Orzo with Bay Scallops, Asparagus & Parmesan

I'm currently working on a fun project, that I'm so excited about...I'm photographing a cookbook all about fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, and I can't wait to see the finished book.  It's going to be filled with awesome recipes and everything you need to know about all the different species of fish found in the Gulf.  And I don't know about you, but it's pretty hard to beat a plate full of fresh, yummy seafood!

This recipe is a family favorite around our house and is easy, delicious and incredibly comforting.  Fresh, sauteed bay scallops are the star of this dish, which will make an appearance in the upcoming book.  

 The creamy orzo pairs perfectly with the satisfying crunch of the asparagus, and the addition of grated Parmesan cheese rounds it out wonderfully.  In fact, this recipe is a new version of THIS DISH that you might remember from an earlier post.  That recipe has become such a big hit with you guys, that I decided to add a little bit of a new spin to it.

I hope you like it.  :)

Bon Appetit, my friends!  

Creamy Orzo with Bay Scallops, Asparagus and Parmesan 
By Celeste Ward 
1 lb. bay scallops
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1 lb. orzo pasta 
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces  
5 Tbsp butter or margarine, divided 
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese  
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish  
1/2 tsp salt  
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse scallops and pat dry.  Set to the side.

Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Remove the onions to a plate and set aside. 

Next, add 2 tbsp of the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add the prepared scallops and sauté for 4 - 5 minutes.  Place scallops on a heated platter and cover with foil.

Fill a large sauce pan of water with 4 - 6 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and stir.

After the orzo has been boiling for 5 minutes, add the asparagus to the same pot and continue to cook for 5 additional minutes.  Once the orzo and asparagus are cooked and tender, drain well and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Quickly add the parmesan cheese and the final 2 tbsp of butter to the orzo and asparagus mixture. Stir thoroughly, allowing both the cheese and butter to melt. Slowly add the cream, while stirring.  Next, add the sautéed onions, scallops and fresh parsley.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with additional parsley.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Unknown said…
Oh my, this looks incredible! Some of my favorite ingredients; can't wait to try it!
Thanks for your advice at FBS 2013 this weekend. I learned so much and left feeling so inspired! It was incredibly encouraging for a new blogger such as myself.
Thanks again! -Holly
Celeste said…
Holly - Thank you SO much! I'm so happy that you attended FBS and liked our session. Keep on bloggin'! :)
Fantastic! I thought it would be bland but I was oh so wrong! Creamy and cheesy! I omitted scallops because I was serving a large group and wasn't sure that it would go over well and opted for small pieces of chicken. It was still wonderful! Thank You!
Unknown said…
This looks realy great!
Can't wait to make this myself :)
Anonymous said…
Made this tonight for dinner. Used sea scallops and cut them in half.
Celeste said…
Thanks you guys, for your comments! So thrilled that you like this recipe...It's one of my favorites.
Unknown said…
I want to serve just the parm orzo. No scallops or asparagus. Should I omit the onions? Can I add garlic? How much would you add? What type of garlic would you use ie minced, powder? I want it to have a creamy cheesey garlicky flavor. Should I still add the parsley or replace it with something else? Thank you so much for your help!!
Dr. J said…
OMG I made this tonight and it was AMAZING! I did add mushrooms and a clove of garlic when I sauteed the onion. BEST meal I have made in a while.
Dr. J said…
OMG I made this tonight and it was AMAZING! Allison I added mushrooms and a clove of diced garlic to it and it was fantastic. I added them when I sauteed the onion. This will be made again! Thanks for the post!
Unknown said…
Oh, my! I had some bay scallops to use and, not having cooked with them often, I turned to Pinterest once again! We live in Oceana County, Michigan, the nation's 2nd highest producer of fresh asparagus, and I wanted to combine the two for lunch. This recipe is absolutely fabulous! I did make a couple of adjustments--added a couple cloves of garlic, cut the orzo in half, and doubled the asparagus, and everyone loved it. This will definitely be kept in the "make often" category!
jharv said…
How many people does this serve? Thanks. Jenny
Unknown said…
Hi Jenny! I would say you could easily serve 4 as a dinner portion.
Anonymous said…
Made this for dinner tonight.....only used 1 1/2 cups orzo...added mushrooms with the onions and added garlic. Don’t see that this only serves 4 people.....more like 8... anyway I will make this again for a women’s two boys were left wanting more....I loved it!
Celeste said…
I'm so happy that you gave it a try! Thanks for your comment. :)

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