Manestra (Orzo) with Hamburger - Greek Style

1 lb. ground beef, turkey, or chicken

1 small onion, finely diced

1 carrot cut into small cubes (or equivalent amount of baby carrots cut into ¼ in. slices)

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed

1 8-oz. can NSA tomato sauce

¼ - ⅛ tsp. cinnamon (if you’re unsure, use the lesser amount)

1 pinch - ⅛ tsp. allspice (if you’re unsure, use the lesser amount)

1 tsp. oregano

2 cups water (or NSA chicken broth)

1 cup manestra/orzo

Brown meat,onion, and carrot in large pot over medium heat. When meat mixture is almost cooked through, add garlic and continue cooking for about 1 minute. Then add the tomato sauce and spices. Add the oregano by crushing in your hand to release flavor. Stir everything well to combine.

Add water/broth and bring to a boil. Add manestra/orzo. Stir well and turn heat to low. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked through but not mushy (about 20 minutes). Add more water by tablespoon if needed, but do not overcook the pasta. Remove from heat and let rest for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or crumbled feta. (If you’re brave enough, try a couple of dollops of plain, unflavored yogurt. A forkful of manestra dipped into a bit of tangy yogurt.)