Tomato Farrotto with Spinach and Ricotta

I love pasta. Whenever my bestie Kelly comes over for dinner we usually make a pasta dish. In an effort to try and eat more healthily I decided last time she came over to cook something with equal flavor to my usual pasta craving but with a healthier grain: farro.

I put together a farrotto dish, which is made just like risotto but with the ancient grain farro, which is high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Much like risotto, this recipe requires a lot of stirring, but with a best friend by your side and a couple of glasses of wine, the time goes by quickly.

I splurged for high-quality ricotta to dollop on top and sprinkled it with fresh chopped basil for that extra-special touch.

Tomato Farrotto with Spinach and Ricotta

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 2.5-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced marinated tomatoes (or 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joes umami seasoning (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash of white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked farro
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 1 generous cup of grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or cream
  • fresh ricotta, to serve
  • chopped fresh basil, to serve

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combine 2.5 cups stock and the crushed tomatoes. Cook till simmering and keep on low flame. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium high with the butter. Sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the marinated tomatoes and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze with the splash of white wine.

Add the dried farro, umami seasoning, dried basil and oregano and cook until farro is lightly toasted, just a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper (I recommend skipping the salt if you used the umami seasoning).

Add a couple of ladlefuls of the hot stock/tomatoes to the pan and stir. Turn down the heat till the pan is at a low simmer. When much of the liquid has been absorbed into the farro, add another couple of ladles of the stock/tomatoes. Continue this until the farro is al dente, about 45 minutes, stirring often. You will need to heat up more stock after you’ve run out of the stock/tomato mixture. I can’t say exactly how much you’ll need. It just depends how much liquid the farro absorbs.

When farro is cooked through, add the chopped spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, a couple of minutes. Turn off heat and add the parmesan and half and half.

Serve with dollops of ricotta and chopped fresh basil.

2 thoughts on “Tomato Farrotto with Spinach and Ricotta”

    1. Hi Carolyn, my local Fred Meyer grocery store has high-quality ricotta in the fancy deli cheese area, rather than the regular cheese aisle. They have both Bellweather Farms brand (which is my favorite) and Murray’s. Both of these brands are creamier and less grainy than the regular grocery store variety ricotta.

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