A new favorite cooking magazine of mine is Taste of Home's "Simple & Delicious". It's packed full of wonderfully tasty recipes that are perfect for those busy weeknights when I don't have much time to spend in the kitchen but want to put something hearty and nutritious on the table for dinner. (Hence, the title "Simple & Delicious"...duh!!) During my last menu planning session I chose several recipes from the Jan/Feb issue and I can't wait to share them all with you in upcoming posts! This first dinner recipe was so incredibly quick and easy to prepare. I actually over estimated the time it would take to cook that I had time to choose and bake up a loaf of garlic-herb bread (look for in my next post) to serve alongside our meal. WOW! The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hamburger but since I was doubling this recipe to share with Sarah for our meal co-op, I added 1 lb. of Italian sausage to boost the flavors a little. I would highly recommend that you consider doing this if you decide to try this meal for your family, the sausage was a perfect addition and really vamped up the taste of the entire dish. Another huge added plus for me was the addition of spinach at the end of the cooking time! It not only added a beautiful color to the entire dish, but was also a major nutritional and healthy addition. Major points in my book! The little food critics in my home gave this two-thumbs up each as they raved over the "cute little pasta thingies" (orzo). Oh-the phrases of children. I love being their Mom!
From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
Saucy Italian Orzo
1 1b. ground beef (or 1/2 lb. beef and 1/2 lb. Italian sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
1 can (14.5 oz.) beef broth
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups fresh baby spinach
In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, orzo and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add spinach; cook and stir until spinach is wilted.
Source: Taste of Home's "Simple & Delicious" Jan/Feb 2010