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Farro with Tuna and Tomatoes

Farro with Tuna and Tomatoes

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For the farro:

  • 1 pound farro
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons small capers, drained
  • Two 6-ounce cans of tuna in olive oil, drained and broken into ½-inch bits
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped


For the farro:

Rinse the farro well and drain in a sieve. Fill a large pot with the water and add the farro, bay leaves, salt, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and top with a cover leaving it slightly ajar. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until farro is cooked through but still al dente. Remove from heat; if there is still liquid in the pot pour it out without losing any farro. Remove the bay leaves and cover the farro to keep it warm.

For the sauce:

Pour the olive oil into a deep skillet and set over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and pepper flakes, then cook for a couple minutes until caramelized. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and capers, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a moderate boil and let the sauce bubble away, uncovered.

After the tomatoes have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the tuna and slowly stir so the pieces of fish remain intact. Allow to cook until the tomatoes are cooked through and the liquid is slightly reduced.

Lower the heat, add the farro to the sauce and stir until the farro is hot and thoroughly mixed with the tomatoes and tuna. Remove the skillet from the heat and toss with parsley. Serve while still hot.

For the bowl
  • 2 (5 oz.) cans Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore in water, drained and flaked with a fork
  • 1/2 cup Farro, uncooked
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 cranks of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cups of cooked or roasted veggies of choice (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, butternut squash, fennel, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms and tomatoes)
  • Fresh herbs to taste (chives, dill or basil)
  • 2-3 red radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)
  • Lemon Tahini sauce (store-bought or see below for recipe)
Lemon Tahini Sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup smooth tahini
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

It cooks in one pot and tastes like you worked all day on it. When you put the ingredients in, you will surely think, “This is too much onion!” because it looks that way. Trust me that in 30 minutes simmering time, that onion becomes the foundation of a dreamy loose tomato sauce whose flavors root deeply into each farro bite. Finished with a swirl of olive oil, scattering of basil and sprinkling of parmesan, if you’re like us, you’ll barely be into your second bite before plotting to make it again tomorrow. One a Farro 101 note, the trickiest thing in writing this recipe was considering the different types of farro (from an Italian wheat strain known as emmer) available — as well as misconceptions, such as the notion that it can be used interchangeably with spelt. (It cannot, as spelt can take hours.). Farro comes whole/unpearled, semi-pearled (semi-perlato) and pearled (perlato) pearling describes how much of the exterior bran is removed, but packages are not always labeled. If your package says it will cook in less than 15 minutes, it’s probably pearled if it takes around 30 minutes, it’s probably semi-pearled. And if it takes 60 to 80 minutes, it is whole or unpearled. [To make it even more confusing, I’ve been using the Rustichella d’Abruzzo brand, which labels it as “whole farro” but it is indeed semi-pearled, which is why cooking times are the best way to decipher which kind you have.] This recipe will work for all three versions (there are multiple comments below noting results for each, as well as quinoa, couscous, and even rice, just do a word search [Cntrl + f] to find the grain you’re looking to swap) but I’ve defaulted to semi-pearled below, which I find most frequently in stores. In all cases, if your package gives you a different cooking time than the 30 minutes suggested below, default to it instead. Questions? Ask away and I will, as always, heh, do my best to feign expertise.

Farro with Tuna & Tomato

Farro is the new kitchen darling. A few years ago most people didn’t know anything about this nutty, nutritious ancient grain. I just love it.

I usually make cold farro salads of one kind or another. But, here’s a delicious hot dish that you can serve as a first or main course.

Farro is easy to make. Cook farro as you do rice or barley. Dress it up like pasta and it’s ready to enjoy. Fast and easy.

This dish is from Puglia, the southern Italian region on the Adriatic.

The nutty, toothsome farro is enrobed in a sweet tomato sauce flavored by briny cured tuna and capers. The red pepper flakes add a hot sparkle at the end of every bite.

Want a break from pasta? Make farro.

  • 1 pound (500 grams) farro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 28-ounce canned San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 6-ounce cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian flat parsley, chopped
  1. Rinse the farro and drain in a strainer.
  2. Put the farro in a pot with 5 cups of water, bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of EVOO
  3. Over medium-high bring to a boil and stir occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and let the farro simmer with the lid ajar.
  5. Cook until the farro is tender stirring occasionally.
  6. If the water is not absorbed, pour it out and remove the bay leaf. Put the cover on the pot and put the farro aside.
  7. Pour 3 tablespoons of EVOO in a pot or large skillet.
  8. Add the garlic slices and the pepper flakes.
  9. Saute until the garlic starts to take on some color, about 2 minutes.
  10. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt and the capers.
  11. Heat to a slow boil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  12. Drain the tuna and put it in a bowl.
  13. Flake it into large pieces and add it to the tomatoes. Stir well.
  14. Cook for 5 minutes more until the tomatoes are reduced and thicker.
  15. Lower heat to medium-low and stir in 2 tablespoons of EVOO.
  16. Add the farro to the pot and stir well into the tomatoes.
  17. Cook until the farro is heated through.
  18. Add the chopped parsley and stir well with the farro.
  19. Serve immediately.

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About Gianni

I grew up in a blue collar southern-Italian immigrant neighborhood in New Jersey, but now I live in North Beach in what’s left of San Francisco’s Italian-American neighborhood. Food is a huge part of my life.

My recipes today reflect the Italian-American classics of my youth, Italian originals from my family roots in Italy, and the wonderful cuisine I’ve eaten in my travels.

Farro Salad with Tuna, Artichoke Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes, and Arugula

Farro salad with tuna, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, and arugula is very popular in Bologna. Many gastronomy shops sell it for porta via, or take-away. Any type of tuna you prefer will be fine although we are partial to Italian tuna packed in olive oil, which has more flavor than albacore tuna. This delightful farro salad combination makes an ideal warm weather main dish, light yet satisfying with great flavor!

4 main course servings. Boiling the farro is the only cooking needed, about 25 minutes.

3 cups (20 ounces or 567 g) dried farro
1 medium celery stalk, cut into large pieces

Extra-virgin olive oil
2 7-ounce (198-g) cans Italian light tuna packed in olive oil, drained well
1 tablespoon (15 ml) red wine vinegar
1 12-ounce jar of marinated grilled artichoke hearts plus a few spoons of its marinade (drained weight 8 ounces or 225 g)
6 ounces (170 g) fresh ripe cherry tomatoes, split in half (16 small)
1 medium stalk celery, diagonally sliced
1/2 bunch fresh arugula or wild arugula, torn or cut into wide julienne
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
Fruity extra-virgin olive oil as needed
Fresh lemon juice as needed
Kosher salt or sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Soaking and Boiling the Farro: Put the farro in a colander. Rinse under cool running water to remove any debris. Transfer to a large bowl. Pour in enough cool water to cover the farro by 2 inches (5 cm), to allow the farro to expand. Soak the farro for 1 to 2 hours or until the grains absorb some water, soften, and swell by 1 1/2 times their original volume, reducing cooking time. Drain.

In a pot of lightly salted water, add the soaked farro and a celery stalk. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes or until tender. When finished cooking, the farro swells looking similar to pearl barley, and when tasted, it has a slight crunch to it. Drain the farro, nibble the celery stalk, and cool.

2. Farro Salad: Drain the canned tuna. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the red wine vinegar over the tuna breaking it apart into chunks with a fork. Red wine vinegar freshens it, immediately removing any tinned or fish aroma. (I do this all the time with canned tuna and it is amazing what a little red wine vinegar can do to instanteously improve canned tuna.)

Either reserve the artichoke hearts for garnishing each plate or add directly to the salad. Add the cherry tomatoes, celery, arugula, and red onion. Add the cooled, boiled farro and toss ingredients together. Season to taste with a few spoonsful of artichoke marinade or olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss again. Serve for a light meal at home, al fresco on your deck or boat, or for a picnic.

Tuna Farro Salad

  • Author: Kate Jackson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1 x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop and Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Delicious grains, cheery tomatoes and seafood come together in this hearty and easy tuna farro salad! Perfect as a side dish or all on its own.


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups farro
  • 7 ounces good quality jarred tuna, broken up into pieces
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss tomatoes with a little olive oil and roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Bring water to a simmer, add farro and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain.
  3. Gently toss farro, tuna and tomatoes together. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the lemon juice and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide among plates, top with mint and serve.


If you can’t find farro, you can substitute barley or brown rice, prepared according to package directions.

Insalata di farro con pomodorini e tonno (farro, tomato, tuna and olive salad)

  • 300 grams farro (pearled emmer wheat)
  • 1 lemon, 3 cm of zest cut off and juiced
  • 250 grams cherry tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram (can use ½ teaspoon dry marjoram)
  • 150 gramstinned tuna, preferably packed in olive oil
  • 8 green olives, pitted and sliced for drizzling , freshly ground
  1. Cover the farro with salted water mixed with the lemon zest. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the farro in a sieve and let it cool.
  3. Mix herbs, cherry tomatoes, 30 mls olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit preferably for an hour but if you are in a rush then no need to wait.
  4. Mix in the farro, tuna and olives.
  5. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil to taste.

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Summer Rustichella Broken Farro salad with tuna and mozzarella

The Farro is the first type of cereal never consumed by man, characterized by the fact to have been widely consumed in Italy and only recently rediscovered by organic farmers for the high nutritional value and taste, for the hypoallergenic properties and as little demanding in fertilization and much more resistant to diseases of other cereal species. Appreciable in whole grains, broken or in flour, Rustichella d’Abruzzo offers the consumption of this type of whole grain cereal, that is, with the grain not treated, but this way still in possession of his protective outer film called Glumetta. Tasty and filling, providing energy without burdening because of its high digestibility and consumed by prolonged soaking in water, spelled is used in various ways such as soups, dry, porridge, bread, pasta, fresh antipasto, pastries, buns or products breakfast. Here’s a fresh recipe for summer with Broken Farro 100% from Abruzzo, tuna and mozzarella.

350 g of Broken Farro 100% from Abruzzo by Rustichella d’Abruzzo
250 g of tuna in oil
200 g of datterini cherry tomatoes
150 g of mozzarella
150 g of corn
Fresh leaves of basil
Intosso PrimoGrano Evo Oil by Rustichella d’Abruzzo
Pinch of salt


Put the farro in a mixing bowl with water for 25 minutes, then wash it and boil for 10 minutes in hot water (or 20 minutes if you use cold water). Drain the broken farro and cool at room temperature.

Wash the datterini cherry tomatoes and cut it in halves, then add tuna, corn and fresh leaves of basil to datterini cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of Intosso PrimoGrano Evo Oil by Rustichella d’Abruzzo.

Add mozzarella and a drizzle of Intosso PrimoGrano Evo Oil by Rustichella d’Abruzzo. Mix gently with a serving spoon and add a pinch of salt to taste.

Italian Tuna and White Bean Farro Salad

  • Author: Aggie's Kitchen
  • Yield: 6 servings 1 x
  • Category: Fish

Whole grain salads like this Italian Tuna and White Bean Farro Salad are hearty, healthy and delicious – makes a great light lunch or dinner!


  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 can Bush’s Cannelinni Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Gently stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Serve chilled.

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Love whole grain salads like I do? Check out these 12 Healthy Whole Grain Salad Recipes including farro, quinoa, wheat berries and brown rice!

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Pasta Puttanesca, Weight Loss and Health

When most of us think of pasta, we usually don’t associate it with losing weight. However, by eating traditional pasta recipes from the Mediterranean, pasta dishes can totally fit into a weight loss diet. Pasta in the Mediterranean is typically served with lots of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and less pasta than a typical pasta dish served in America. Also, the pasta is prepared al dente, which lowers its glycemic index, effecting blood sugar levels much, much less.

This traditional recipe from Italy includes tuna, which is a great source of healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Adding more tuna into your diet is awesome for weight loss. The abundance of protein in tuna fills you up and reduces cravings.