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Prepare Quick Dinner with Creamy Pasta and Lamb Meatballs

Lamb meatballs with orzo on a white square plate
Screenshot from "Un-Wine'd" season three episode seven.

These flavourful lamb meatballs are great for a special date night or for regular weeknight dinner. If you wish, the ground lamb can be substituted with ground beef. The recipe pairs naturally with CrossKeys Vineyards’ Meritage wine and appears in this full episode of “ Un-Wine’d,” which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. To discover more recipes seen on “Un-Wine’d," please click here.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb lamb
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c. seasoned panko crumbs
  • 1 ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp. pepper, divided
  • Zest of ¼ lemon
  • 1 ¼ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paper towels

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 ½ c. orzo
  • 3 c. strong chicken stock
  • 10 ounces frozen peas (or peas and carrots), thawed
  • 3 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, finely minced
  • Frying pan


Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine lamb, egg, panko, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, lemon zest and ¼ c. parmesan. Mix well.

Step 2: Form into 1’’ meatballs.

Step 3: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Then cook the meatballs until cooked through but not overcooked. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

Step 4: Wipe the pan of excess oil and add the butter. Over medium heat, cook the onion until softened.

Step 5: Then add the garlic and stir through the heat to release the garlic oils into the butter but don’t cook all the way through.

Overcooked garlic quickly burns and can ruin any recipe.

Step 6: Stir in the orzo and cook until the grains become golden. This will take about 5 minutes.

Step 7: Stir in the stock and remaining salt, and bring to a boil.

Step 8: Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low to simmer the contents of the pan. Stir occasionally and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Make sure you do not cook too quickly and dry out the pan.

Step 9: Test the orzo. If it’s still too firm, add ¼ c. additional stock or water.

Step 10: When it’s cooked through, remove from heat and add the peas, remaining parmesan, and parsley.

Step 11: Gently stir through then gently fold in meatballs. Sprinkle with remaining pepper and additional salt if needed.

Step 12: Serve hot.

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