My husband is not a big fan of spaghetti, so I thought I would be tricky and use orzo instead. It worked! This was a simple recipe to make, but full of flavor. I loved the addition of spinach to the meatballs and the sauce was perfect with the addition of red peppers. This is definitely a recipe I will be making over and over again – but with double the meatballs!
1/2 lb lean ground beef
5 oz package thawed chopped spinach, drained and squeezed dry
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large red bell peppers, silvered
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1 can (28 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes
8 oz orzo
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with alumnium foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, spinach, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp black pepper unitil well combined. Shape into bite-sized meatballs.
Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake turning once for 12 to 15 minutes or until no longer pink and cooked through.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a stock pot over high heat. Saute the red pepper and garlic for one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add the water, remaining oregano, black pepper. Cook until the peppers until tender.
Add the tomatoes to the pepper mixture and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and reduce heat the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently for 10 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
While the sauce and meatballs are cooking, bring a pot of water to boiling and cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta.
Recipe slightly adapted from: The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook