Tonight’s dinner was a challenge. TB asked if I thought we could have it made and eaten in about 40 minutes, as he was supposed to meet up with a friend. Considering I had no clue what I was going to make I said sure and looked for whatever we had on hand. On rushed dinner evenings I often turn to pasta, you can’t get any easier than that.
I was pleased with how this turned out. It had a different background taste to it. A smooth richness with a freshness…is that possible? While I used ground lamb, I am sure this could be made with ground beef or poultry. Easy peasy as my favourite Jamie Oliver would say!
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
6 cups salted water
1 lemon, juiced
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp freshly chopped basil
1 lb ground lean lamb
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic (I know it is a lot, but it still didn’t overpower in my opinion)
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
1 tomato finely diced
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 half and half (optional)
1/4 cup crumbled feta
salt and pepper to taste
- Bring salted water to a boil, add orzo allow to cook for 8 minutes until slightly al dente.
- Meanwhile in a skillet heat up oil and add lamb, brown it over medium high heat. Remove and drain in a colander.
- Spray pan with veg oil and saute onions. As they begin to get translucent, add garlic and allow to cook – careful not to let it burn. You may want to lower the heat to medium.
- Add spices, allow aroma to be released (2 minutes).
- Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Return lamb to skillet. Simmer sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
- While sauce is simmering, combine lemon juice, basil, cooked orzo and pepper in a bowl, stir to incorporate.
- Once sauce has thickened add half and half, cook for about a minute. Pour sauce over pasta, top with feta.
Easily serves two to three (plus leftovers!).