Mediterranean Beef and Orzo

This takes 30-35 minutes and dresses up hamburger meat in a flavorful combination that our kids devour. My friend Vimari’s husband pointed out that it is just “fancy goulash” but hey, it works! Healthy and fast!

1lb lean ground beef
½ tsp sea salt
1 onion, finely chopped (or 4 green onions, or 2 shallots)
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes)
1.5 cups beef broth
1 tsp minced fresh oregano (or ½ tsp crumbled dried oregano)
1 tbs fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried parsley)
¼ tsp black pepper
1 cup dried orzo pasta
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or 1 can chopped spinach, drained, or 2 cups fresh baby spinach)
½ – ¾ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

1. Crumble beef into 10-12” frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salt over meat. Cook, stirring often, until meat begins to brown, 3-5 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to medium, stir in onion and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Spoon off and discard any extra fat.
4. Add garlic, tomatoes and their liquid, broth, oregano, parsley and pepper.
5. Bring mixture to a boil, and then stir in pasta. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until pasta is al dente (see pasta package for time).
6. Meanwhile, drain spinach thoroughly if needed.
7. Stir spinach into pasta mixture just until heated through.
8. Serve with fresh-grated parmesan cheese to taste.


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