Meatballs & Orzo in Pesto Cream Sauce

prep time
15 minutes
total time
45 minutes


  • 1 (16-oz.) pkg. Carando® Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon walnut pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 16 asparagus spears, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup peas


1. Using a large, deep-sided skillet, cook meatballs in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until internal temperature reaches at least 165ºF. Remove meatballs from skillet.
2. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons oil, basil, garlic, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, walnuts and lemon juice in food processor or blender. Pulse until finely minced.
3. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain.
4. Meanwhile, sauté onion for 3 minutes over medium-high heat using same skillet meatballs were cooked in. Add asparagus; sauté 3 minutes.
5. Whisk together milk and flour. Add milk to onion and asparagus; cook and stir until just starts to thicken. Stir in pesto and heavy cream until well blended.
6. Stir in meatballs, orzo and peas; continue cooking until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

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