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One-Pot Baked Lamb Orzo with Spinach, Black Olives & Feta

One-Pot Baked Lamb Orzo with Spinach, Black Olives & Feta
September 2021
Reading time 5 minutes

Bring the warm flavours of the Mediterranean to your table with this fantastic one-pot dish full of aromatic Greek herbs and spices

Orzo looks like a large grain of rice but it’s actually a pasta and it has a wonderful velvety texture that’s perfect for a comforting family meal. A super easy, flavour-packed meal with very little washing up is most definitely what I call good mood food.
  • 500g lamb rump steaks, trimmed of fat and cut into chunks 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/2 lemon, for squeezing
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • a large rosemary sprig
  • 550ml chicken stock
  • 250g orzo
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 60g black olives, pitted and halved
  • 80g feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the lamb in a large bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, one teaspoon of the allspice, half a teaspoon of the oregano and half the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat and add the lamb. Cook for three to four minutes to sear the meat. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same pan, add the onion, lower the heat to medium and cook for four to six minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the cinnamon, remaining garlic, allspice and oregano and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the tomato purée and chilli flakes and stir before adding the tomatoes, honey, rosemary and stock. Season with a little salt and a generous grind of pepper. Return the lamb to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and gently simmer for five minutes.

Add the orzo and give everything a good stir. Transfer the casserole, uncovered, to the oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes until the orzo is tender but still with bite. Remove from the oven, take out the cinnamon stick and stir through the spinach. Cover and allow to rest for five minutes before stirring in the olives. Serve scattered with the feta and chopped parsley.

Extracted from Ainsley’s Good Mood Food by Ainsley Harriott (Ebury Press, £20) Photography by Dan Jones

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