Orzo Pasta, Spicy Tomato Sauce & Feta

By Clare Lattin and Tom Hill From the book Ducksoup Cookbook: The Wisdom of Simple Cooking
Orzo Pasta, Spicy Tomato Sauce & Feta from Ducksoup Cookbook

The Italians use Orzo in soups and stews as it’s a good way to bulk out a dish without filling yourself up too much. Feta gives this dish an added saltiness, but not in the same way that Parmesan would – it’s more gentle. This dish reminds of how good a well-made feta can be. We love this dish as a summer weeknight supper.

For how many? Serves 2


  • 500g large tomatoes (we love Pink Bull’s Heart tomatoes)
  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 120g orzo pasta
  • 100g feta
  • Few leaves of fresh oregano


1. First skin the tomatoes. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Using a sharp knife, score a little cross at the base of the tomatoes and cut out the eye of the tomato at the other end. Have a large bowl of iced water ready and once your water is boiling submerge the tomatoes for 15 seconds, them immediately plunge them into the iced water. You’ll be able to peel off their skins immediately. Set to one side.

2. 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 paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Roughly chop the 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.

3. Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. To serve, divide between two bowls, crumble over the feta and sprinkle with the fresh oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.

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