Saturday, 9 October 2010

Finally back and a comforting Orzo Ragu!

Finally! I am back blogging! A month later than planned but hopefully back in the loop. I know its been a while sorry!

Since my last posting, we have been on our summer holiday to Turkey, the weather was beautiful every day but the hotel not quite so beautiful....won't be staying there again!! The food was of limited choice and I can't blog anything particuarly amazing but I did enjoy a lovely chicken salad one day at a nice little cafe:

Unfortunately, upon returning I have been plagued by a recurring nasty tummy bug amongst other health issues, which completely wiped both me and my appetite out! However this does now mean I can eat cream every day this week to get my weight back up!!

Fortunately my appetite is now finally returning, and I managed to actually cook a meal yesterday for the first time in weeks! I recently discovered Orzo, which is a type of pasta and have become a big fan of it. If you have not tried it before, its a similar texture to pasta but shaped like very large grains of rice. Some supermarkets stock it (My local ASDA has it in the world foods aisle!) but if not try a deli or similar shop. I've made a similar dish to this with Orzo before but without the meat and by roasting fresh peppers and tomatoes to make a sauce which was delicious, will remember to take a picture next time as I forgot!

This comforting, simple dish is ideal for the cold nights that are now drawing in, and depending on your supplies, you can probably make it without needing to visit the shops! I used a mix of frozen and fresh vegetables, though you could use whatever you prefer or have at the time. Whilst its not probably everyones choice, I did use Aberdeen Angus frozen minced beef for convenience, though you could just as easily use fresh if you prefer. A bonus is that its all cooked in one pan, so less washing up afterwards!

As with a lot of my recipes, some of the weights are approximate as tend to go by eye, rather than scales..I use a small soup bowl* normally when prepping, roughly 1 large cup sized...

Orzo Ragu
Serves 2-4
1 hour

200g Orzo
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (or blitzed in food processor!)
1 onion, finely chopped
500g passatta (sieved tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tsp dried italian herb mix, some fresh basil is good to add if you have any!
1 soup bowl* of frozen minced beef (or fresh, if you prefer)
Handful (or bowl) frozen green beans
Handful (or bowl) frozen garden peas or petit pois
Big handful grated cheddar

Boil the Orzo as per packet instructons until al dente in a large pan, for the last minute add the green beans, drain well in a colander and refresh with cold water. Leave to one side.

Using the same saucepan, return to the heat and gently fry the mince, onion, garlic and carrot (add a little olive oil if needed) until the vegetables have softened. Add 1/3 of the passatta, herbs to taste and mix well, cover and gently simmer for 15 minutes, add more passatta if it looks dry.

Now add the remaining passatta, the orzo, green beans and peas, mix really well, season with s&p and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the orzo is soft and cooked through, stir in the cheese and serve in nice deep bowls. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.


  1. Nice looking dish Anne! I am a fan of orzo and am always looking for new ways to use it.
    Sorry to hear you have not been well, hope you are now on the road to recovery.

  2. This looks lovely - and it can easily be made veggie by using soya mince instead of meat.
    This might just be our lunch...!
    Thanks for the recipe, Anne.

  3. It's good to see you blogging again Anne.
    I spotted orzo in my local supermarket last week, I've been planning to buy some and give it a go. The ragu looks wonderful.

  4. I love bringing food ideas back from my holidays, I got so much inspiration from a recent trip to California!...great blog... I found you through 'just add yeast' and I love your posts and photo's... hope you can join in our sourdough journey over at just add yeast and come visit me at belleaukitchen


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen! I love to hear your thoughts and comments on my recipes!


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