Orzo is a tiny pasta, shaped like rice, or using the literal translation from the Arabic birds tongue (lisan el asfour). One can only imagine how all the family members, sitting around rolling the dough between their fingers, must have made this small, shaped pasta in earlier times.
This main course pie is a family favorite and a good substitute for lasagna, as the ingredients are similar, but assembling it is much easier than lasagna.
* 1 cups orzo, cooked and drained
* 15-ounce jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
* cup grated Parmesan
* 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
* 1-cup ricotta (can use low fat)
* 1 egg
* A pinch of grated nutmeg
* Shredded mozzarella
* 9" or 10" pie pan
Pie Base: In a bowl, mix cooked orzo & about of the tomato sauce & egg & parmesan. Line the bottom and sides of pie pan.
Cook spinach according to package directions and drain well.
Mix spinach, ricotta and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Place the filling on top of the base. Cover with remaining tomato sauce (you may not need all of it.)
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.
Last Updated: June 7th, 2011