Awhile back Mr. S. and I made a little weekend getaway to Seattle. It was wonderful. I loved the people, the sights and the food...Sweet Baby Jesus, I loved the food! Paseo, Cascina Spinasse, Salumi...I can't wait until we can hit them up again. I have such fond memories of our meals there. Anyhow, during our visit I bought a few things at Pike Place Market, one of which being some Spicy Red Hot Thai Curry Orzo at the Pappardelle Pasta stand. Since it was a dry good, when I got home I shoved it into my overflowing cabinets at the cottage and promptly forgot about it until this weekend when it clonked me on the head when I was pulling stuff out of the cupboard. I decided to take it over to Mr. S.'s casa and cook it up as a side salad to our dinner. I've cooked orzo before but not this particular flavored orzo so I decided to play it safe and use the recipe that they have posted on their website. At the market they sell the pastas by weight and I had only purchased 1/2 a pound so I halved the recipe below. The dish turned out well but Mamma Mia! Man, it was spiiiiiiiiiiicy! If you like spicy you'll love it but I'm a bit of a wuss so I don't think I'll be buying that flavor again. I did like their pasta product though, so maybe I'll try a different orzo next time. They also make a variety of flat cut pasta, lasagna noodles and gluten-free pasta via their website: Pappardelle's Pasta that look interesting.

Spicy Shrimp Curry Thai Peanut Orzo Salad

1 lb. Pappardelle's Spicy Red Hot Thai Curry Orzo

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons warm water

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Asian (toasted) sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2-4 cloves garlic, minced, salt to taste

1 lb. Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined & cooked

2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded & sliced very thin diagonally (I left these out as Mr. S. is not too keen on the cukes)

3 small green onions, sliced very thin diagonally
- Cook orzo in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water, drain thoroughly and set aside in a large bowl.

- Whisk peanut butter and water in a small bowl until completely smooth. Then whisk in soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic and salt. Toss with the pasta, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

- Just before serving, add in shrimp, toss again, transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish the top with the cucumber and green onion.
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