Sure, orzo is good in soup, but there's no need to stop there. Here it's a base for a bold blend of spices, tomato sauce and flavorful ground lamb. The optional pinch of crushed red pepper will add the heat that many crave.

Marge Perry



  • 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 in a sieve set over a bowl.

  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper, if using; 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 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Meanwhile, cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.

Nutrition Facts

461 calories; 9.2 g total fat; 3.1 g saturated fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 324 mg sodium. 518 mg potassium; 72.2 g carbohydrates; 5.5 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 22.7 g protein; 472 IU vitamin a iu; 16 mg vitamin c; 18 mcg folate; 100 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 69 mg magnesium; 1 mg thiamin;

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