Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 4-6 depending on portion
Dietary guidance: n d
1/2 pound extra-lean ground beef (you can also use ground chicken or turkey)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 green onions, sliced thinly
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups finely sliced spinach
1 lemon, zested
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta), uncooked
grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Mix together the meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, and green onions; shape into 3/4 inch balls. Brown lightly in a skillet, set aside. Note: the meatballs will finish cooking in the broth, so there is no need to completely cook them in the skillet.
Pour broth into a large saucepan over high heat. When boiling, drop in meatballs and let cook for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach, lemon zest, lemon juice and orzo. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook at a slow boil for 10 more minutes or until orzo is tender, stirring frequently.
Serve sprinkled with cheese.