This is a risotto-like dish that works on the classic combination of seafood and anise. The orzo, a pasta, has a lovely slippery texture and it's a lot less technical than looking after rice.
100ml extra virgin olive oil
6 medium kumato tomatoes, cut in half, or 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
10 large green prawn cutlets
1 tsp ground fennel
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 bulb fennel, cut into 1/2 cm dice, reserve the fronds to garnish
350g orzo, as sold as risoni (available at the supermarket)
2 tbsp pastis (anise-flavoured liqueur, substitute a splash of white wine)
1 litre quality chicken stock
Prawn essence, to serve (see recipe)
1. In a large saucepan over high heat, add the oil and fry the tomatoes for two to three minutes to loosen a little, remove. Put the prawns and ground fennel in the saucepan, season and fry for two minutes. Remove and set aside with the tomatoes.
2. Add the garlic and fennel dice, season and cook on a medium heat until lightly coloured and softened, about seven minutes. Add the orzo, pastis or wine and stock and slowly simmer for about eight minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the prawns and tomatoes and cook for another three minutes, stirring. Turn the heat off, cover and let stand for a further three minutes.
4. Drizzle over the prawn essence to taste, scatter over the fennel fronds, squeeze over some lemon and serve from the pot.