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Manestra (Orzo with Tomato Sauce)

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
8-10 cloves fresh garlic sliced thin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
8 ounce package fresh mushrooms sliced
24 ounce bottle pasata or a 24 ounce of your favorite tomato puree
1 cup vegetable broth
16 ounce package whole wheat orzo or 2 cups
32 ounce package fresh spinach or about 4 cups, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
about 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled (optional)

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Manestra (Orzo with Tomato Sauce)

Features:
  • Vegetarian

A stove top version of a classic Greek favorite...

  • 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Ingredients

Directions

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Manestra, more commonly known as orzo and also known as kritharaki, is traditionally a casserole baked in a cinnamony tomato sauce and usually made with meat.  That’s how mom used to make it. Here we made this recipe on the stove top, left out the meat (great for Meatless Mondays) added mushrooms and spinach and used 2 kinds of paprika to give it a smoky, spicy flavor. We also used whole wheat orzo (Delallo 100% Whole Wheat is our fav) to make it more nutritious and topped it some yummy Dodoni sheep’s milk feta. We’re obsessed!

Steps

1
Done

In a large deep skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and heat through.

2
Done

Add sliced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently (you don't want the garlic to brown). Add both sweet and smoked paprika. Cook for another minute until paprika is fragrant and deep in color.

3
Done

Add mushrooms and saute for about 2-3 minutes just to get a little color on the mushrooms.

4
Done

Add vegetable broth (or water or white wine, depending on what you're using). Cook for about 2 minutes.

5
Done

Add pasata (tomato puree) and bring to a simmer.

6
Done

Add manestra (orzo) and stir well. Once it comes to a simmer again, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is al dente.

7
Done

With about 1-2 minutes left in cooking time, add fresh spinach and simmer until spinach is wilted.

8
Done

Add salt and pepper to taste.

9
Done

Serve in big bowls topped with crumbled feta (optional).

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Eggplant Tomato & Onion Saute with Lentils
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Greek Easter Tsoureki