Baked Farro Pasta

Baked Farro Pasta Recipe

I thought we'd close out the year with a hearty, rustic, warm-you-from-the-inside baked casserole. It's a cold weather crowd-pleaser made of alternating layers of broken farro pasta, sliced potatoes, two cheeses, and mustardy shredded cabbage. The sort of thing you can prep a day or two ahead of time, then bake when convenient. I suspect you might be able to tell from the photo - its the sort of food that pairs magnificently with a pint and a stormy night.

Baked Farro Pasta Recipe

Let's break it down a bit. One of the things that works for me here is the play between the starchiness of the pasta/potatoes and the bite of the mustard. You can, of course, adjust the amount of mustard to your liking if you make this more than once. The amount I use here is straight up the middle - it comes across as neither meek or assertive once the casserole is baked. But keep in mind, the type of mustard you will also be a factor. I guess what I'm trying to say - feel free to adjust to your tastes.

Baked Farro Pasta Recipe

Like most casseroles or lasagnas, you'll have a bit of a project on your hands, but in the end there's lots of food to enjoy. It took the two of us the better part of a week to finish it off. If you have kids, I imagine a version with a blend of whole wheat/regular macaroni elbows could be a more kid-friendly version. The original idea for the recipe actually came from a buckwheat casserole I came across while flipping through in The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook. She used a buckwheat pizzoccheri and savoy cabbage. The premise is brilliant and there are a thousand ways you can mix it up. Another alternative I've been thinking of...for those of you with The Essential New York Times Cookbook....I made the Brussels Sprouts "Slaw" with Mustard Butter the other night. I can imagine using that in place of the cabbage here if you're more of a sprout fan, or if that is what you happen to have on hand.

I'm spending the next few days looking after my nephew. Hopefully we'll have some adventures to share with you - today involved hot chocolate, buffalo spotting, and the beach. Enjoy the last of the holiday season - I'm certainly looking forward to a fresh year of recipes and stories with all of you. I've got a fantastically good noodle soup to share with you when we kick off the new year. xo -h


Baked Farro Pasta Recipe

You can use pretty much any green cabbage here - savoy, napa, or even shredded brussels sprouts if you have some to use up. On the pasta front I call for farro tagliatelle, but you can substitute a wide range of pasta shapes and types. For example, fettuccine, penne, broken lasagne, etc. And you can experiment beyond farro - whole wheat pastas, buckwheat, spelt, they'll all work nicely here. Lastly, I don't hammer this point to death down below, but do your best to salt/season each of the casserole components as you go. Each should taste great on its own.

1 pound small waxy potatoes, for example Yukon gold, fingerling, Yellow Finn

fine grain sea salt

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish

2 medium leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced, well washed
3 garlic gloves, minced

1/2 medium head of cabbage (about 1 lb / 16 oz / 450g), cored and shredded

1/2 cup / 120 ml vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
16 fresh sage leaves

12 ounces / 340 g dried farro tagliatelle, broken into 3-inch segments

4 ounces soft-rind, creamy cheese, cut into tiny cubes (for example, I used this Ardrahan farmhouse cheese, but Stracchino, fontina, or tallegio could all work too)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta.

In the meantime, in a separate pan, cover the potatoes with water and a few big pinches of salt. Simmer until just tender, somewhere between 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain well, then slice into 1/4-inch rounds, toss gently with a bit of salt. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, a few minutes. Stir in the garlic. Stir in the cabbage, and then the broth. Season with salt and cook, covered, for a few minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and stir in the mustard, then 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, and half of the slivered sage leaves. Taste, adjust the seasoning if needed, and set aside. It should taste good on its own, with an assertive mustard flavor at this point.

Cook the pasta in generously salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch (23cm x 33cm) baking dish, or equivalent. Arrange 1/2 of the noodles evenly in the bottom of the dish. Layer half the cabbage mixture, half of the potatoes, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and half of the cubed cheese on top of the noodles. Arrange the remaining noodles over the cheese and cover with the remaining cabbage, potatoes, and cubed cheese. Finish with the remaining Parmesan and slivered sage.

At this point you can cover and refrigerate the casserole for up to a couple days, or bake in a 400F degree oven for 45 - 60 minutes - until the top is nicely golden, and it is hot throughout. Serve hot.

Serves 6 - 8.

Prep time: 60 min - Cook time: 60 min

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Your Comments

December 27, 2010

Potatoes, pasta and cheese...comfort food! Serving it from a skillet adds the perfect heart-warming touch.


Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
December 27, 2010

Mmm, this sounds wonderful. So homey and comforting, and yet full of whole grain goodness and veggies! This is exactly the kind of casserole I'd love to make. Thanks for another beautiful recipe, Heidi!


December 27, 2010

Once again you've helped me decide what to prepare for dinner tomorrow. I love the idea that it will feed us through the week. How do you usually have the same veggies on hand as I do? What a help you are to me in using seasonal produce in fresh and fun ways. Thanks Heidi!


kristi @ veggie converter
December 27, 2010

I haven't tried farro pasta yet, but this looks yummy.


December 28, 2010

It sounds yummy. I cook for my celiac boyfriend and I wondered if replacing the mustard (I'm not 100% sure its gluten free) with balsamic vinegar would work out. Thanks for the recipe!


The Artist Chef
December 28, 2010

I did your baked potato with tomato & spices not so long ago and it was a success! Your cinnamon bun is something for me to try soon. Then this one delighted me again to try...

Such a wonderful inspiration Heidi :D
Happy Holidays!


December 28, 2010

I really like that this can be prepped ahead. Helps during the chaos of the holiday season. Mustardy cabbage sounds awesome!


Jessica @ How Sweet
December 28, 2010

I've been dying to try farro and this looks like the perfect way!


Bogna @ Pots and Frills
December 28, 2010

Thank you for this recipe. Traditionally, I use quite a lot of cabbage in my cuisine and recently I also read a lot about farro. I have been wondering how to use it and farro pasta seems like a creative addition to the always popular pasta menu.


Caroline Shields
December 28, 2010

Have fun watching your nephew. I'd love to hear what you make for him.
Cheers to the New Year!


Cooking in Mexico
December 28, 2010

My husband of Polish ancestry would love this mix of noodles, potatoes and cabbage.

I see in your photo you used Napa cabbage, but this would be just as good with standard cabbage. Of course, in Mexico, we can't get Napa, faro tagliatelle or any of your suggested cheeses, but a recipe like this is so adaptable to what is at hand. Thank you for the inspiration to be creative with these



A Teenage Gourmet
December 28, 2010

I FINALLY found farro in small town Kentucky. I imagine farro pasta will be another five years.


Eva @ 1 big bite
December 28, 2010

Thank you for this great recipe. Sounds like the right kind of food for this weather.

Any idea where I can get farro pasta?


laura @ alittlebarefoot
December 28, 2010

i actually already have all the ingredients to make this in my house - sounds like a wonderful impromptu dinner for tonight!


Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
December 28, 2010

This looks so warm and comforting. It's a bonus that it can be prepared ahead of time. Love that.


December 28, 2010

Heidi, this sounds wonderful! Will I miss out on the essence of this dish if I sub semolina pasta for the farro pasta? I'd love to try this recipe, but doubt my local grocer stocks it.


Laurab @ foodsnobstl
December 28, 2010

I have been on the hunt for farro. Where did you get this pasta??


The Rowdy Chowgirl
December 28, 2010

I haven't seen farro pasta before, but what a brilliant idea! I love that this is total comfort food, but also full of healthful whole foods.


Katherine Deumling
December 28, 2010

This sounds wonderful and sounds very much like the classic northern Italian dish pizoccheri which is made with buckwheat noodles.
fabulous all around and perfect for winter.


The Healthy Apple
December 28, 2010

Sounds delicious, Heidi. Thank you for sharing; have a wonderful end of the year! Such a fabulous comfort food recipe to warm up during this snow storm we're in right now!
Happy Holidays.


December 28, 2010

I've never eaten pasta and potatoes together, but I imagine it's just the thing for a mid-winter warmer. Happy new year Heidi :-)


Tom | Tall Clover
December 28, 2010

This is comfort food with capital "C" which also stands for "C"annot wait to make it, too. Thanks Heidi.


Sabrina Modelle
December 28, 2010

Mmm, I can imagine just what that tastes like and now I'm dying to make it. I've got some leftover brussels sprouts in my fridge, now, and I think I know just what to do with them.
Happy New Year


Jonny G
December 28, 2010

Wow, what a great idea...especially the pint on a stormy night. Would have been great when we got a foot of snow in Boston Sunday night. Thanks Heidi


Simply Life
December 28, 2010

Oh what a delicious and unique flavor combination!


December 28, 2010

Heidi, I am so please to see a farro recipe! My health food shop sells two farro pastas: spaghetti and penne rigate. I have already called to see if they can obtain the tagliatelle for me. Would the penne rigate work in this recipe?


December 28, 2010

Whether or not it is farro...or regular pasta...this just looks so good...and I just saw the cinnamon bun recipe...I think I am making that for New Year's Morning...


Lisa W.
December 28, 2010

Thank you, Heidi, for all your wonderful recipes and ideas and inspiration throughout the year. Happy New Year and blessings to you!


December 28, 2010

I made this today for lunch and it is amazing. I did use brussels sprouts instead of cabbage and it turned out beautifully.


Donna Minassian
December 28, 2010

Sounds amazing; but any ideas for a cheese substitute? Dairy allergies....Thanks!


December 28, 2010

You read my mind again! Just made farro for dinner (butternut, mushroom, parmesan walnut risotto - très Heidi :) but now have to try your version, looks delicious! Finished off with your maple syrup scones (with a yogurt honey cinnamon sauce fyi) - divine (and so easy to make!) Thanks for keeping me well fed in Paris and now at home in New Jersey for the Holidays regaling my family with your recipes. Can't wait for the new cookbook to come out - bon courage !


Amanda at Enchanted Fig
December 28, 2010

Oh good. I have two whole stalks of sprouts to use, thatI bought in a moment of irrational optimism. This will change it up a bit! Thanks!


Heidi - apples under my bed
December 28, 2010

mmm lovely! I love a good baked savoury dish. and I have recently become obsessed with mustard, so win win! Happy New Year :) Looking forward to the noodle soup!
Heidi xo


Brad Sloan
December 28, 2010

Wow, that looks good, sad it is so much work! going to make this for dinner this weekend! Brad


December 28, 2010

Where can I buy farro pasta in the SF Bay area? I live on the Peninsula. Really want to make this dish. Thanks

HS: Hi Ivy, try the pasta section of Whole Foods, or any natural food store. If they don't have farro, they're likely to have spelt or whole wheat, or some alternative.


Sally - My Custard Pie
December 29, 2010

Happy New Year Heidi - I've been reading each post for over a year now and you've been a terrific inspiration to my cooking and my blog as well as a delight to read and a feast for the eyes. Thank you.


December 29, 2010

I have been living (in a hotel) and working in Shanghai for 2 months now. I return back to the U.S. next week. I miss cooking so much and this is going to be my first dish. Thank you for posting such amazing, creative and healthy recipes.
December 29, 2010

Thanks Heidi. Even though we're at the height of summer here in the southern hemisphere, a cabbagey cheesy pasta bake sounds scrumptious. Bake Club loves sweet and savoury so I'll definitely post it when I get round to making it.


Pam @ Kitchenware
December 29, 2010

I think you had saved best for the last, I love this simple and healthy baked farro pasta recipe. Perfect for ending and starting the year right!

Have a great happy new year!


December 29, 2010

This looks fantastic. I love the double starch! And I'm a huge cabbage fan so this is kind of my ideal recipe! But... I have a huge bag of farro sitting in my panrty. I'm wondering how this would be texture-wise,. if I replaced the pasta with farro. I may have to give it a try and see what happens.


December 29, 2010

Mmm this looks lovely!


Ashlee @ cookinginnh
December 29, 2010

Wow this looks great! Mmm...especially in the winter!


Sage, mustard and cabbage? Definitely an interesting new twist on pasta for dinner. Thank you!


December 29, 2010

Never had farro before... and you make it look so delicious! Gotta give this a try.


I love casseroles that can be prepared a day or two ahead. That way when the guests have arrived, all you have to do throw it in the oven. Quick n easy! I've never tried farro before, but sounds like I may need to.


Denise - Family Cookbook
December 29, 2010

Perfect comfort food combination for the stormy weather we're having this holiday season. And a good excuse to try Farro pasta.


December 29, 2010

Sounds like such a warm, comforting dish. Perfect for a cold winter's night, that's for sure. Wonder if they sell farro pasta anywhere around here.


Chocolate Freckles
December 30, 2010

I could kill for something like that right now!!! I am so hungry and a little sick!


December 30, 2010

I made this last night. Absolutely fantastic! All I can say is WOW.
Thank you for this divine winter recipe - it's beautiful in the cast iron skillet too!


Sounds almost like a cabbage lasagna! I haven't seen farro pasta at our store here, will have to look in the specialty section.


December 30, 2010

I am currently completely obsessed with farro but have never seen it in pasta form. What a find!! This looks outstanding!


The Food Hunter
December 30, 2010

I've never had farro but I think I would really like it.


December 30, 2010

I am in love with this. It sounds absolutely perfect for next week, when all the merriment has subsided, and the quiet of January settles in.


Farina's Asian Pantry
December 30, 2010

Thanks for this recipe, sounds delicious!


December 31, 2010

Hmm, never heard of Farro pasta - must seek it out - looks really good. I have a load of sprouts left over Xmas so maybe I'll adapt this a bit to use up those tonight!


December 31, 2010

I totally did not make this dish, but it did inspire me to make pasta with a cabbage and mustard sauce that really hit spot after a week of leftover Christmas ham and potatos. Thank you.


Megan Gordon
December 31, 2010

Hot chocolate, buffalo spotting, and the beach? What could be better? Happy New Year, Heidi. Thanks for a year of lovely, inspiring, and beautiful posts. Looking forward to yet another. xo.


Liana @ femme fraiche
January 1, 2011

That looks like a warming winter's unfortunate that my impatience will prevent me from trying it..maybe I'll slide this one over to my mom;)


January 1, 2011

That looks so good... I wish I had some in front of me right now! Definitely trying this one soon.

Wishing you a Happy Hearty and Healthy New Year!


January 1, 2011

Oooh, this looks so hearty and satisfying and perfect for the rest of the long winter we're in for :) Happy New Year!


January 2, 2011

It was FANTASTIC! Thanks so much. Unique, filling and tasty... AND my 2 year old ate it as well.


Georgia Pellegrini
January 5, 2011

Just reading about this dish I am instantly comforted. I think if anyone was having a bad day and then they had a slice of this they would feel better.


January 5, 2011

I see you used an earthen ware utensil. how well do they work against your normal glass ones ? just curious to know :-)


January 6, 2011

What a great winter recipe, and vegetarian as well. Thanks so much for sharing!


January 7, 2011

It came out okay but I doubled the amount of mustard and still don't taste it at all. Also, the sliced potatoes are just odd. I think I'd mash them next time and make it more like a shepherd's pie. Also, it needs something to hold it together, maybe a sauce of some kind. Otherwise it's too dry and crumbly. But the idea is nice.


CJ Paris
January 7, 2011

Thanks, nIce recipe - very filling but rather dry.Thought it needed something a bit more moist in the mixture.


Kathleen CC
January 7, 2011

Yummy! Just made this after receiving our east coast farm share. I had a big head of cabbage and lots of potatoes to work with. It came together fairly quickly, despite the many steps. I was afraid it would be dry, but it wasn't, and I am not sure if this was because there was a bit of broth leftover that tossed in. Anyway it's a keeper. Thanks Heidi.


January 9, 2011

This is new to me, but it sure looks delicious. Thanks for the idea. I'll sure be making this for dinner tomorrow.


January 9, 2011

Made this tonight and it was truly incredible. Beyond delicious!


January 10, 2011

This dish reminds me of a dish called Pizzoccheri, it's a speciality form Valtellina, a valley in the province of Como here in Italy. The ingredients are similar although there are some differences. The main one is that the pasta we use is the pizzoccheri which are made with "grano saraceno" that in spite of the name is not a cereal. The pizzoccheri are boiled together with the potatoes and the cabbage. The butter is melted with sage and garlic and at the end the pizzoccheri are put in a baking dish tigether with the melted butter, sage and garlic and cubes of "Bitto" a soft cheese of the same area. Out in the oven for a few minutes and served hot with pepper.


January 10, 2011

I made this last week for my family and everyone loved it. I baked it for 30 minutes covered with a greased piece of aluminum foil and then backed it uncovered for another 20 minutes. The top browned nicely but didn't become too chewy. Thanks for another great recipe!


January 11, 2011

I think this recipe looks amazing. I also want to make a comment on another recipe I made tonight. I made the baby lima soup with chipotle broth. I can't even explain how great this soup is and it's so simple.

Thank you for continuing to provide wonderful ideas. I look forward to each email I get from you!


January 12, 2011

Made this for dinner last night - it was amazing. My 7 year old requested that the leftovers be packed for his lunch!

Thanks for the amazing recipe!


January 12, 2011

Should this be baked covered or uncovered?