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rice or pasta for scampi, or both?

Making Ina Garten Baked shrimp scampi Christmas day for seven, was planning on rice and fresh pasta ( bought) Is this overkill? Menu includes celery root soup, salad, bread, two vegetable sides, thinking one side would be snap peas and carrots, another need an idea for, Suggestions appreciated!

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  1. It should be interesting to see how the opinions divide regarding rice vs. pasta!
    I love both, really, but I think rice is just a tad more manageable eating-wise and to me, there's something retro about it.
    That would be my choice, but my problem would be that I am far, far more reliable making pasta vs. rice. I just can't reliably turn out a nice, fluffy product.
    eta: I'd also pick one or the other if I could because it would simplify my life.

    1. I'd make a pasta dish, a rice dish or a rice/pasta dish, rather than a pasta dish and a rice dish, especially since you also have bread.

      I'd probably lean towards rice, if I had to choose one dish, although I think an Armenian pilaf, containing rice and vermicelli, would also be nice with scampi.
      Armenian pilaf. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/559095

      Another option is to cook orzo pasta, risotto-style. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

      1. While I personally prefer pasta I agree with the poster that said rice is an "easier eat". Make for easier conversion if you are not worried about twirling….

        Plus I think rice might soak up the yummy garlicky sauce.

        1. How about splitting the difference and serving orzo with it?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ockitchenqueen

            Ditto on the Orzo suggestion. It's my most favorite bed for Shrimp Scampi, & very forgiving if it has to wait a little while. A quick stir with a fork & it fluffs up nicely (unlike longer pasta shapes).

            If you're bent on serving a rice dish, perhaps make a separate vegetable risotto as one of your sides.

          2. I am with the orzo crowd. A nice herby one.

            Or. LOL

            You could do a nice lemony risotto.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Sal Vanilla

              Thanks, good ideas! Never cooked orzo but seems easy enough, here's another question, can i make orzo earlier in day and reheat, these old bones of mine no longer love standing, I was thrilled when I found on another post reference to baked shrimp scampi,, made a day ahead and just popped into oven. Looks like scampi is often served with linguine, so here;s another question: orzo or linguine, any pros or cons? thanks!!

              1. re: knitterbetty

                Yes indeed you most certainly can cook it ahead. Tastes just as good reheated. If you do fresh herbs in it, add that when you reheat. Put a little butter in it if it is thick or unruly looking.

                1. re: knitterbetty

                  NO - you can't cook Orzo ahead of time. It can turn into mush, just like most pasta - particularly tiny shapes like Orzo.

                  And I believe you're confusing Orzo (which is PASTA) with Risotto (which is RICE). It's RISOTTO (the rice dish) that requires you to stand for a long time stirring & stirring & stirring. ORZO is a PASTA - & a quick-cooking one at that. You add it to boiling water for a few minutes, then drain, season, & serve.

                  As far as Orzo vs. Linguine - I still vote for Orzo. It's fancier & easier/neater to eat if your guests will be dressed nicely.

                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    Whoa! Step away from the caps!
                    fwiw, I don't believe anyone is confused here.

                    1. re: monavano

                      Really?

                      The OP stated that she didn't want to be standing over Orzo. You don't need to "stand" over Orzo - it's cooked quickly like any other pasta. It's RISOTTO that requires the standing & frequent stirring.

                      Thus my feeling that perhaps the OP (not you) were confused about the difference between Orzo & Risotto.

                    2. re: Bacardi1

                      Whether the orzo turns to mush later might depend on the brand and/or quality of the orzo, and whether it was cooked al dente.

                      In my experience, when orzo pasta is cooked risotto-style, it doesn't turn to mush. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                      1. re: prima

                        Yuppy duppy foodie puppy! Get some decent orzo and don't cook it to death and then reheat it again not to death and you are golden!