Vefa's Kitchen by Vefa Alexiadou, includes Greek recipes like Mount Pelion Bell Pepper and Onion Pie Piperopita piliou; Lamb Baked with Orzo Arni giouvetsi me kritharaki; Squid with Nettles from Pontus Tsouknidokalamara; and Cuttlefish with Mixed Greens and Rice Soupies me horta ke rizi.
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 2-1/4 hours
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the meat and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Add the puréed tomatoes, garlic, and sugar, season with salt and pepper, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a nonstick skillet or frying pan. Add the orzo and cook over high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer the orzo to a large ovenproof dish or divide among 6 individual dishes. (In Greece, a special clay pot called a giouvetsi is used for this dish.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C / Gas Mark 4). Put the pieces of lamb on top of the orzo and pour the tomato sauce over them. Carefully add the water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and put the tomato slices on top of the lamb, sprinkle with the cheese, and season with pepper. Return to the oven and bake, adding a little more water if necessary, for 30 minutes more, until the liquid has almost all been absorbed and the pasta is al dente. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese.
Note: Veal, beef, pork, chicken, or even shellfish can be substituted for the lamb, adjusting the cooking times as necessary.
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This page created August 2009
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