While in Seattle over Labor Day weekend I bought various dried pastas from Papparedelle's at Pike's Place Market. I bought a Lemon Garlic Orzo that Brady and I have been meaning to make but just haven't come across the perfect recipe. Last week Brady found a recipe on Eatingwell.com for Orzo with Lamb, Olives and Feta and we knew we had a winner.
Last night we made the dish and we both absolutely loved it. Not only did it taste great, but it was cheap, healthy, and quick to make on a busy work night. Plus it had olives which some of you may know from earlier posts makes me very happy :)
Brady and I were both in agreement that this was a great dish for this time of year. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it just tasted like fall. I think that it had to do with the incredibly flavorful lamb and the touch of cinnamon. The dish was filling but not heavy and in my mind seems like perfect comfort food without all the calories.
The Lemon Garlic Orzo that we used was great and I definitely recommend ordering some pasta from Papparedelle's but I think the recipe would be just as good with regular orzo. Beef could definitely be substituted but I have to say that the lamb had a flavor all of its own that we both really enjoyed. This isn't an overly meaty dish, but again due to the great flavor, a little goes a long way- which I plan to go back to Whole Foods and tell the butcher because he seemed very skeptical that we could make anything with only 6oz of ground lamb- I think we proved him wrong!!
Orzo with Lamb, Olives and Feta
** from Eatingwell.com
Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4, about 1 1/2 cups each
6 oz. lean ground lamb, or ground beef
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano- I did both
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 14oz can whole tomatoes, undrained
2 T. chopped, pitted black olives
salt and pepper, to taste
12 oz. orzo
crumbled feta to garnish
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Cook lamb (or beef) in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain any grease and then set aside.
Heat oil in Dutch oven or a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add lamb (or beef).
Puree tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile while meat mixture is thickening cook orzo for about 8 minutes. Once meat mixture is thickened, remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper. Drain cooked orzo and toss with meat mixture. Serve garnished with feta.
Per Serving: 461 Calories, and 9 g Fat