Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meatballs and Orzo in Parmesan Tomato Sauce

This one's for all the picky eaters out there.

There's almost nothing that kids don't dig on in this recipe and unlike the Chef Boyardee comparison, I'm sure it's a little better for them (and us).

This dish is super easy, but you do have to roll some meatballs. If you're like me, just wait until nap-time, put on some music and get to rollin'. It took me as long as a pot of water takes to come to a boil, so it's not THAT labor intensive.

Even though we had this for dinner, you could easily do this as a lunch as well.

Meatballs and Orzo in Parmesan Tomato Sauce
(from here)

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large egg
1 slice bread
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked 
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Get a slice of bread into a medium bowl and pour the milk over top. 

Next time, I'll cut up the bread beforehand as it didn't soak up the milk evenly. I used regular wheat sandwich bread. 

Toss in the ground beef, teaspoon of salt and the egg.

Stir well to combine.

At this point, I put a pot of water on the boil and started my meatballs.

I started with a rounded 1/2 teaspoon as my measurement. After a few I got the hang of pinching the right amount off and rolling them out on my palm.

Just place on a sheet pan until you're done.

Beautiful little meatball soldiers
 When your water comes to a boil and your meatballs are all rolled out, toss them into the water.

Cook for 5 minutes and remove when finished. Set aside until service. You can stash these in the fridge, no problem.

Cook your cup of orzo and set aside until service. Fridge this too, no prob.

I actually retained the water from the meatballs and cooked my orzo in it to save time. I think the oil and beefiness in the water helped flavor the pasta, but I don't know for sure.


When you're ready for dinner (or lunch) get the soup, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of cheese into a sauce pan.

Stir to combine and bring to a simmer until the cheese has melted.

Add the pasta and meatballs and stir to combine.

Heat through for about 5 minutes.

I served with grilled cheese sandwiches and it was a great little meal.

Even though I was reminded of a meal from a can, it actually tasted really good. I liked the mini meatballs but will probably add a few more spices to them next time. The sauce was really good and my daughter ate it up.

If you have a picky eater, give this a try and see if they don't eat it.


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