This riff on spaghetti and meatballs uses rice-shaped pasta, ground lamb, and feta cheese for a delicious Greek-inspired supper that can be on your table in 40 minutes.
2 cups hot cooked orzo
1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups jarred marinara sauce
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Keep warm.
Combine breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a medium bowl; stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley. Add egg whites, stirring mixture until just combined. Shape mixture into 12 (1-inch) meatballs; cover and chill meatballs 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Drain well; wipe pan clean with paper towels. Return meatballs to pan. Spoon marinara sauce over meatballs; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375° for 11 minutes or until meatballs are done. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley. Serve over orzo.
I am not a fan of lamb; however, my husband is. I made this for him as a Father's Day treat. He raved about it; to my surprise, I enjoyed it as well. I followed the recipe to the "T" and served it with a Green salad and crusty bread. I took the advice in some of the comments and chilled the meatballs for 3 hours; they were wonderful. The cinnamon flavor really came through in a nice, mellow way making the lamb very tasty. Even though I made 1" meatballs, they were not thoroughly cooked during the recommended time. I added another 10 minutes to the oven time. Would definitely make this again. Thank you!
Because I was in a hurry, I accidentally added all of the parsley to the meatballs instead of dividing the parsley to be added later. I also cooked the meatballs slightly longer than suggested because I found the temperature I was originally at was insufficient. Besides these slight mishaps, I followed the recipe exactly, and found that it was quite delicious. I really enjoyed the warm stinky feta cheese with the meatballs and marinara, and thought that Orzo was a good choice for this meal because it allowed you to get all of the elements into one bite. I decided to cut the recipe serving slightly, only serving two meatballs instead of three, and added veggies on the side to round off the meal. The meal was quick, and by reducing the serving slightly I increased the servings of the dish to 6, reduced the calories slightly, and decreased the cost per serving to approximately 3.30 dollars.
All of the folks who used turkey instead of lamb are seriously missing out. Definitely worth the splurge for lamb because the meatballs were rich and delicious. I used one whole egg which worked just fine. I always make homemade marinara and next time I make this I will chop up some olives to go in sauce. Would likely take this recipe to a 5 star!
These are even better if you crumble some extra Feta into the Lamb meat mixture. I sometimes also like to add some chopped KALAMATA (pitted : - ) olive to the mix too. If you do either or both be sure to cut way down on the salt!
Also, I never bother with the mess and hassle of browning the meatballs in a skillet. I place the meatballs on a lined baking sheet in a 425 oven for 8-20 minutes ~ it depends entirely on the size of the meatballs you choose to make. Small ones cook very fast!
The high oven temperature makes up for the lack of skillet browning. These meatballs are also delicious served with (on /over) couscous (I sometimes turn the couscous into a "pilaf" by combining it with cooked lentils and chopped sundried tomatoes. For a real feast, serve with spinach and/ or a Greek salad.
I find that ground lamb has so much more flavor that ground beef - that I use it in many other "ground beef recipes" ~ including "hamburgers."
this is one of my families favorite meals. My daughter who is 10 loves to take leftovers in a thermos. As always, tailor the recipe to fit your needs. I use more ground lamb and heavy hand the spices but keep the egg the same.
This was my first attempt at cooking lamb! Simple to make and very tasty. I did substitute the breadcrumbs with Kraft grated parmesan/romano cheese (same amount) to cut down on the carbs. I also added and extra garlic clove and a small shallot! Instead of frying and then finishing in the oven, I cooked them on the grill! I put them over a flash boiled broccoli/carrot slaw mix instead of orzo to also reduce the carbs. I will definitely make this again!
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