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    Spinach polpette with orzo

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    Spinach polpette with orzo

    Polpette is Italian for meatball – this spinach and cheese version is light, packed with flavour and goes beautifully with the roasted tomato sauce and pasta. 

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes + chilling
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes + chilling

    Serves: 4


    450g bag essential Waitrose Spinach
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1 echalion shallot, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    100g fresh breadcrumbs
    50g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra for serving
    1 large essential Waitrose Free Range Egg
    Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    400g pack Waitrose Cherry Vine Tomatoes, halved
    180g essential Waitrose Orzo
    1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Sundried Tomato Paste
    25g pack fresh basil leaves


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Wash the spinach and cook in a saucepan for 4-5 minutes until tender. Cool under running water, then drain and squeeze. Chop roughly and place in a large bowl.

    2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and cook the shallot for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add to the spinach along with the breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and lemon zest. Mix together until well combined, then firmly shape into about 24 small balls. Set aside to chill for 10 minutes.

    3. While the polpette are chilling, place the cherry tomatoes on a flat baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and roast for 10 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water for 9-10 minutes until tender.

    4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and gently cook the spinach polpette for 5-6 minutes, until golden and heated through.

    5. Drain the orzo well and return to the saucepan. Stir in the sundried tomato paste, roasted tomatoes and any pan juices along with half of the basil. Divide among 4 bowls and top with the polpette, remaining basil and a little extra cheese.

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