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- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Take ground sausage and roll them into small balls. Meatballs should be 1 1/2-2 teaspoons in size.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add meatballs, searing until browned on all sides. Transfer sausage balls to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Add onion and celery and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until softened and translucent, then add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Season generously with salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano, fennel and red pepper flakes.
- Pour in orzo pasta and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring so as not to brown, then pour in chicken broth, water and tomatoes (including juices).
- Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 9-12 minutes, or until orzo is al dente, then reduce heat to low and return sausage meatballs to warm up. 4-5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then stir in parmesan cheese and serve hot.