Farro Penne with Bacon and Radicchio


Farro (also known as "emmer wheat") is perhaps humankind's original grain, an unhybridized variety of wheat that is said to have sustained the Roman legions; it's still very popular in Italy today. Unlike whole wheat pasta, which can be grainy and chewy, farro pasta's smooth texture combines beautifully with both light and hearty sauces. Our Executive Chef Sarah LaCasse developed this savory combination of smoky bacon, spicy radicchio, rich parmesan, and mellow roasted garlic that harmonizes perfectly with the farro pasta's warm, nutty flavor.


2 head garlic, roasted with 1 teaspoon olive oil (yields about 3/4 cup softened garlic after peeling)
1 ounce package farro penne (about 5 cups cooked)
4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup Parmesan Stock (or chicken or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups (packed) Earthbound Farm Organic Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
12 leaves fresh basil (sliced chiffonade, thin ribbons)
  Salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the pointed end of each head of garlic, drizzle with the 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and wrap tightly in foil. Bake 30-40 minutes until soft. Let cool before handling.

Cook the penne in salted boiling water 9 to 10 minutes. Drain and cool.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often. When the bacon is crisp, add the onion and radicchio, stirring to coat the vegetables evenly with the bacon grease. Add the Parmesan Stock (or broth) to the pan, then the oregano and spinach. Toss or stir well and cook until spinach has wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while peeling the garlic.

Squeeze the softened roasted garlic from the peel. Toss together with the penne, the bacon-radicchio mixture, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and basil. Taste to check seasonings; add salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


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