November 16, 2018
A traditional Greek winter dish, this is one of those one-pot wonders that can feed a family and then some! Traditionally it would have been taken to the village bakers to be cooked, to be collected and enjoyed on the way home from work. It is often made with beef, but we love this lamb version. Orzo pasta is the one shaped like large grains of rice, and it can be found in Greek, Turkish or other Mediterranean grocers. The best cheese to use is Greek kefalotyri, but pecorino is a suitable substitute rather than Parmesan.
1Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the onion, garlic and carrot and saute for five minutes.
2Turn up the heat a little and add the lamb, then brown the meat well, until it is getting a little crusty at the edges.
3Now stir in the tomato puree and the herbs, then pour in the wine and cook till it has evaporated.
4Add the tinned tomatoes, a glass of water, the cinnamon stick and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
5Turn down the heat and let the pan simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 3tbs of olive oil in another pan and add the orzo pasta, then saute until the pasta turns golden.
6Take the pan off and transfer the orzo to an oven tray, then pour over the meat and sauce.
7Cover the tray with foil and bake at 180C for half an hour. Finally remove the foil, add some water if needed, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
8Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.