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Lamb Meatballs and Toasted Orzo

Lamb Meatballs and Toasted Orzo


  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)

  • 2 slices white bread, crusts trimmed

  • Milk, for soaking

  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided

  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons grated onion

  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram

  • Salt and pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 1/2 cups orzo

  • 1 box thawed frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces), squeezed dry

  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium size saucepan, heat the chicken stock over low heat; keep warm. On a rimmed plate, soak the bread in the milk.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb and egg. Wring out any excess milk from the soaked bread and crumble the bread into the meat. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley, the mint, onion, garlic, lemon zest, oregano (or marjoram), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with EVOO; mix. Roll the mixture into 20 meatballs and arrange on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until browned, 15-18 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in a few ladlefuls of the warm stock and allow it to absorb before adding more. Keep adding the stock a little at a time and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 20 minutes. Stir in the spinach to heat through in the last minute of cooking. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and feta.

Serve the orzo in shallow bowls. Top with the meatballs and the remaining 1/4 cup parsley.