Meatballs and orzo cooked in a rich and delicious tomato sauce. It’s easy to make and loaded with flavour. This one-pot dinner will blow you away big time. It hits all the notes, it’s fun to make, intriguing and it tastes freaking delicious.
The preparation needed for this dish is quite simple. Instead of boiling the orzo, we cook it directly in the pan in a deep and rich tomato sauce. The sauce is made with a base of pureed tomatoes, chicken stock and leftover fat from the meatballs. We also add tomato paste and Parmesan to really deepen the flavour and bring out the best in the meatballs. When we cook the orzo in this sauce, the starch will not only emulsify the fats, but also turn the sauce slightly smooth and we’ll end up with a unique textural result. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and lots of parmesan to finish. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- Serves 4
(7 oz) orzo
(8.8 oz) cherry tomatoes
can (400 g/15 oz) tomato puree
(2 cups) chicken broth, or vegetable broth
(4.9 oz) tomato paste
garlic cloves, minced
(1.4 oz) grated Parmesan, more for serving
chopped parsley, more for serving
each: black pepper, dried oregano, sweet paprika, red pepper flakes
salt, to taste
(17.6 oz) ground meat, I used 70% pork with 30% veal
each: salt, black pepper, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Mix until just combined, using your hands. Roll the meat into 2 tablespoon-size balls.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes or until they’re cooked through, turning them 2-3 times. Add tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they start to burst. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much fat in the skillet as possible.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining oil and onion. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Add garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze with 2 tbsp broth, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to release the brown bits. Add seasoning and stir in tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Add orzo and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
- Pour chicken broth, stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add tomato puree, give it a good stir, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Stir from time to time. Stir in the parsley and Parmesan. Then slide the meatballs and cherry tomatoes back into the skillet. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust salt.
- Spoon the orzo and meatballs into bowls, top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and more chopped parsley. Enjoy!