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Manestra Greek Orzo With Tomato Sauce
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4 from 18 votes

Manestra - Greek Orzo With Tomato Sauce

Manestra, is a Greek-style risotto dish, that's made with orzo. Cooked in a delicious, lightly spiced tomato sauce, it can be served either as a main pasta dish or as a side to meat dishes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: easy, pasta
Servings: 3
Calories: 672kcal


  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized red onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 250 grams/ 8.8 oz orzo medium-sized
  • 1,5 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 70 ml red wine
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes very ripe
  • teaspoon sugar
  • 6 pieces of allspice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • OPTIONAL: crumbled feta cheese to serve with
  • 1 liter hot water (or vegetable or beef stock)


  • Using a hand grater, grate the tomatoes on a medium scale and discard their skins.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large cooking pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook for a minute stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the garlic and cook until the onion and garlic get caramelized and softened.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the orzo and cook for a minute, add the tomato paste and keep stirring for 2 minutes for the paste to cook as well.
  • Pour in the wine and cook until it evaporates completely (stops smelling of alcohol). Add the grated tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes more stirring occasionally.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaves, sugar, and allspice.
  • Pour in the hot water (or stock) little by little stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The orzo will absorb it quickly. It takes about 15 minutes for the orzo to cook this way and become al dente. Not too soft when you bite it.
  • So once you have stirred in all the water and the orzo has cooked to al dente, take the pot off the heat and let stand for a few minutes. The more orzo sits the more it absorbs the sauce so don't worry if the sauce doesn't look as thick. It will get there even if it's removed from the heat.
  • Serve orzo with plenty of freshly ground pepper on top and crumbled feta cheese as well if you like.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 672kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1163IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg