Recipe: Spicy Tomato Orzo Pasta

Orzo is not your typical pasta. It looks like rice but tastes like a bowl of carb-loaded goodness. I found this recipe while looking for something that uses ingredients that I have laying around the kitchen – waiting to be used. This was a surprisingly flavourful discovery and made for a quick and easy meal prepping option to fill yourself during the work week.


500g crushed tomatoes (I prefer canned)
50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 tbsp parmasean cheese
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
120g orzo pasta
1 tbsp orgeano leaves
 1 tbsp pepper



  1. In a large frying pan over a low heat, temper the cumin and nigella seeds in the olive oil for 1 minute, then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, chilli flakes, bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes. Add in your crushed tomatoes, add to the onions and simmer for 10 minutes. You’re looking for a soupy consistency so if you need to add a little water then do so. Season with salt and pepper. While your sauce is cooking, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook your orzo pasta for 10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions. Drain and add to the tomato sauce.
  2. Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes and add your spinach. It doesn’t have to be spinach, but sneaking in a form of vegetable will, in turn, make you feel better about your life choices. Add a bit of shrimp or chicken breasts to your pan for some protein, if desired. Make the dish your own. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle with parmasean cheese.