Cypriot Orzo Yiouvetsi

This dish tastes best when cooked in a stoneware casserole, so if you have one available you will want to use it.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 1 hour 50 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground veal
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 1⁄2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat; add veal and break up with wooden spoon. Sauté 5 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned.
  • Add onion, garlic, tomato sauce, cinnamon stick, cloves, salt, and pepper to saucepan with meat. Bring to a boil, stirring well; cover and simmer 15 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • In separate pan, bring stock to boil; cover and reduce heat to low.
  • When meat has cooked, remove cinnamon stick from pan. Add uncooked orzo pasta to hot beef stock for a couple stirs; add stock to pan with meat sauce. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Butter sides and bottom of casserole; add yiouvetsi mixture. Bake uncovered 50 to 60 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed by pasta.
  • Stir well with wooden spoon only once, at about 25-minute mark (making sure to get into corners of dish); let it cook undisturbed for remainder of time. Look for surface of yiouvetsi to form a crust-like top layer, especially near edges.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with Parmesan.