Tuscan Style Summer Skillet Supper
2 T Cooking oil, if you are using a fattier grade of ground beef
2 lb. grassfed ground beef, or any ground meat you have available
1 cup finely chopped green onion or onions (minced small)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or more (to taste)
1 cup cooked orzo- or cooked rice, or other pasta, cooked al dente (use diced, cooked spaghetti squash if you don’t want the carbs or the gluten)
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
6 tbsp. coarsely chopped walnuts (toast them lightly first for best flavor)
2 tbsp. dried oregano
dash or two of fiesta chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, or bleu cheese- ideally. Really, just use some cheese.=) Mozarella would be good. But you can also just skip the cheese. Really.
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
16 black olives
2-4 cups diced tomatoes
Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium heat- it will be best if your pan is one that can also go under the broiler. Add ground beef, salt, pepper, green onion, and garlic. Fry, stirring regularly, until the ground beef is cooked through. Drain if necessary.
Add the diced tomato, cooked orzo, parsley, walnuts, oregano and chili powder. Continue to cook over medium heat while stirring- just until warm through.
Add feta or bleu cheese and a cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir quickly and remove from heat as soon as the cheese is stirred in.
*If your pan is not oven proof, transfer ingredients to a baking pan.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and green onions over the top of the ground beef mixture. Top with the olives. Broil on center rack in oven for 5 to 8 minutes until Parmesan cheese is golden. Watch carefully.
As you can see- the Boy, who made ours, did not dice the olives, and that would certainly have been ideal. We also did not have much cheese.
Serve with toasted garlic bread and a salad or vegetable sticks. Steamed green beans or asparagus would also be good if you don’t want to do the bread.
Recipe is adapted from this recipe at The Veggie Gardener, which is for stuffed tomatoes. But we don’t like stuffed tomatoes, and the tomatoes I had were already sliced, as we’d had them leftover from sandwich fixings the day before.
I think it would also be tasty in stuffed peppers, or even cabbage rolls, although it will be more troublesome to prepare any other way than this.
If I were making this for a freezer meal (OAMC), I’d mix up all the ingredients except the pasta, cheeses, olives and tomatoes (although you could use canned tomatoes). I’d cook that, cool, and freeze, and add the pasta, cheeses, olives and tomatoes on cooking day.
If you look closely you can see that instead of orzo, we used alphabet pasta.=) It’s what we had in our hands.
We also were almost completely out of cheese- and I think this would have tasted just as delicious without the cheese. It would perhaps need a little something more as a binding agent- wtih no cheese it would have been ever so slightly on the dry side. More tomatoes, maybe.
It was really, really flavorful, and a hit with all of us- including the Little Boys. Definitely a keeper.