Manestra and Meatballs

Manestra is a Greek version of orzo, a form of pasta cut to shape rice. Manestra can easily be made with chicken pieces instead of meatballs. Not only is this dish easy to make, but the caramelized vegetables add delicious flavor.

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650g of ground veal
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp oil

2 cups manestra
4 cups stock
2 tbsp oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan and cook the chopped carrot, peppers and onion until caramelized. Set aside.

In a separate frying pan, heat the 1 tablespoon oil and sweat through the onion and garlic (approximately 5 minutes). In a bowl, mix the cooked onion and garlic blend with the ground veal, egg, bread crumbs, parsley and seasonings. Form 3” balls and place them in a greased baking dish.

Cover any empty area between the meatballs with the manestra and cover with the caramelized vegetables. Cover with the stock.

Cook for 1 hour or until all the moisture is absorbed. Periodically mix the manestra to ensure it does not stick to the bottom of the baking dish. Note: if all the moisture has been absorbed and the manestra is not cooked to your liking, remove the meatballs and add a bit more water to continue cooking.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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