This super simple, tomatoey dish is really versatile – you can make it with orzo or rice, and it uses some of my favourite flavours from my Greek Cypriot heritage. Oregano, rosemary, cinnamon and nutmeg complement the delicious moreishness of Linda McCartney Vegetarian Tomato And Basil Meatballs. This is a really easy store cupboard recipe that’s comforting, filling, and full of goodness – and thanks to the ease of just popping these meatballs out of the freezer, it can be thrown together with barely any time or effort at all. One of my new faves – I hope you love it too!
This recipe was created in partnership with Linda McCartney Foods.
Makes four generous portions
1 large onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs, or any of the following: oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram
a generous pinch of nutmeg
a generous pinch of cinnamon
400g chopped tomatoes
400g passata, or another can of tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar or your preferred alternative
100g green or black olives
1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled
salt and pepper
280g orzo pasta or white long grain rice
290g packet of Linda McCartney’s Ridiculously Tasty Tomato & Basil Meatballs
First peel and finely dice your onion, and peel and finely mince your garlic. Warm a little oil in a large nonstick pan and add the onion on a low heat. Cook, stirring, for around 10 minutes until they start to soften.
Add your herbs, and the nutmeg and cinnamon, then pour in your tomatoes and passata. Add your sugar, and halve your olives and add those too. Add your lemon juice, and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a brief boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes to thicken and develop the flavours.
Add your orzo or rice to the pot, along with 1 250ml cup of water. Stir well, and cook for 10-12 minutes if using orzo, 20 minutes if using rice. You may need to add more water, don’t overdo it as you can always put more in but it’s harder to take it out!
Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a separate frying pan and cook your Linda McCartney Meatballs from frozen on a medium-high heat for around 15 minutes. You can also bake them in the oven at 180C in a roasting dish or baking tray for 10-12 minutes, shaking gently or turning over halfway through to cook evenly.
Combine the meatballs with the tomatoey orzo or rice, and serve.
As an optional extra, you can add finely chopped greens – kale, spring greens, chard or spinach all work well, and a little vegan cheese to finish.
Allow leftovers to cool completely then transfer to an airtight bag or container. It will keep in the fridge for 2 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat to piping hot throughout to serve.
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