Manestra, is a traditional Greek dish very similar to risotto. The BEST simple Greek comfort food made with orzo, ground beef (or lamb or turkey), onions, and tomato with mint and cinnamon. Ready in just 30 minutes, this manestra recipe makes a perfect lunch or even a light dinner.
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1 lb. ground beef or lamb or turkey
1 large onion diced
8 oz. tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more if needed
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon dried spearmint or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint
4 cups water
1 cup orzo whole wheat or regular is fine
grated romano cheese, fresh chopped mint or parsley, and/or extra-virgin olive oil, for serving optional
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- I recommend using lean ground beef for this. If you use a fattier kind, or with ground lamb, it may be greasy, so I recommend using a spoon to scoop out and discard some of the fat after browning the meat.
- If you use ground turkey, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil to the pan when you cook it, since turkey is so lean.