Orzo with Crayfish, Peas and Sorrel

When we moved to Canada from Australia, I could only take a few cookbooks with me. One of the ones that made the cull was Karen Martini’s Feasting cookbook – some sample recipes are on her website.

On my birthday back in June, Dr. Skorpio treated me to a home-cooked weekend lunch. I could select any dish and he would prepare it. I chose the Orzo with Crayfish dish.

It was absolutely divine and is now one of my favourite pasta dishes we have made to date. We’ve now made it twice – both times we didn’t have sorrel on hand and it was still fine. The second time, we were able to use the lobster stock from our first batch (we froze the leftover stock). We also used freshly shelled peas which were lovely.

Orzo with Crayfish


Orzo with Crayfish, Peas and Sorrel

From Karen Martini’s Feasting cookbook.

Note: We used 150g of orzo pasta for 2 people. The first batch, we made the full amount of lobster stock and froze half. The dish is then put together with peas, pea puree, stock and butter. We were able to halve the dish by halving the pea puree, pees, stock and rest of ingredients for the dish.

Serves 4-6


2 small cooked crayfish (lobster) (about 1.2 kg each)

200ml EVO, plus extra to serve

2 cloves garlic, smashed

4 golden shallots, peeled and sliced

2 tsp fennel seeds

4 good-quality anchovies

sea salt

1 bunch flag-leaf parsley, stems and leaves coarsely chopped

4 ripe tomatoes, diced with skins and seeds

1 tsp tomato paste

1 lemon, sliced

300ml white wine

1 litre fish or chicken stock

500ml water

2Tb raw sugar

500g orzo pasta

200g fresh peas

2 tsp caster sugar

3 cloves garlic, extra, sliced

1.5 Tbs dried chilli flakes

50g cold unsalted butter, diced

juice of 1 lemon

6 sorrel leaves, cut into thin strips (optional)



  1. Heat 2.5 Tbs olive oil in large saucepan over high heat and cook the crayfish head for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the smashed garlic cloves, shallot, fennel seeds, anchovies, and a pinch of salt, cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the parsley, tomatoes, tomato paste and lemon and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and boil for 3 minutes, then add the stock and water and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and another pinch of salt.
  3. Simmer for 25 minutes, then strain the liquid into a clean saucepan and discard the solids. Cook the stock over medium heat for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain through a fine strainer and set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain.
  5. In a large mortar and pestle (or pulse in a food processor), pound half the peas, with sugar and a little salt. Add 100ml olive oil and pound to a rough paste.
  6. Heat remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic, chilli and crayfish meat. Stir, season with salt and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in 800ml of the reduced stock and bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
  7. Add the pasta to the pan. Add the pea mix, reserved peas, butter and a little extra olive oil and stir briefly until warmed through.
  8. Transfer to a serving platter, and finish with lemon juice and a scattering of sorrel strips if using.
  9. Serve immediately.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Looks crazy good, thanks for the recipe! This reminds me of the time I used to experiment a lot in the kitchen, before I got too busy managing a Chinese Restaurant in Capalaba area. You just inspired me to try this on the weekend!

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