Thursday, October 22, 2009

Farro Pasta with Goat Cheese, Eggplant, Tomatoes and Greens

Dinner was Italian (sort of).  Pasta with eggplant and tomatoes.  So far so good.  But we still don't have spinach in our garden, so our Italian pasta dinner included senposai instead.  Senposai is such an adaptable green that an unsuspecting diner would probably never know the difference.   We have used senposai in Middle Eastern, Asian and Italian dishes.  Really it works in any recipe that calls for spinach, kale or cooked leafy greens.

Senposai is also a star in the garden, especially our hot Houston garden.  We've been harvesting from the same plants all summer, and many months later they are still growing.  The leaves are thick and green; when left on the plant they reach up to 12 inches long.  Senposai is tasty whether picked small or large.  We rarely let the leaves grow to full size because there's always a need for more senposai in the kitchen.

We selected a wonderful pasta from Rustichella d'Abruzzo made with organic farro.  Farro is an unhybridized ancestor of modern wheat with a dense nutty flavor.  The texture and taste pair well with vegetables fresh from the garden.  Imagine a pasta stand-in for brown rice.  Our recipe is really not much of one.  Use it as a guide for whatever vegetables you have on hand.  For us that means eggplant (of course), Matt's Wild Cherry tomatoes, and senposai.  But this pasta would be delicious with kale or spinach, or even with brussel sprouts (my favorite vegetable).   

Farro Pasta with Goat Cheese, Eggplant, Tomatoes and Greens
makes 4 entree portions


1        box         dry pasta
1        pound      Italian eggplant, sliced thinly
1 1/2  cup          senposai or other leafy green
1        cup          cherry tomatoes
4        oz            goat cheese (we used Carpicho
                         de Cabra peppered goat cheese)
                         olive oil
                         salt and black pepper

  1. Cook pasta and drain in collander.  
  2. Heat olive oil over medium in saute pan and saute eggplant until golden on both sides.  Place slices on paper towels to drain.
  3. In same pan, saute senposai until soft, about 2 minutes.  It shrinks down like spinach, but not as much because it is thicker.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. In same pan, gently heat a tiny bit of olive oil and add goat cheese.  Allow cheese to get warm, but not to melt into a liquid.  
  5. Remove goat cheese from pan and add to cooked pasta.  Add eggplant and senposai and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add cherry tomatoes.        



  1. LOVE farro, and I don't cook with it often enough. As for senposai, I've never come across it -- but I'm intrigued. We're huge greens eaters. Does it cook quickly, like spinach? or is it heartier, more like kale?

  2. Never heard senposai... thanks very much for the heads-up! Very nice pic of your pasta dish btw. Looks delicious.

  3. This looks amazing! Anything with goat cheese and I am hooked!

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  5. Delicious with goat cheese! I would love to try senposai, never had it before!

  6. This looks simple and fabulous! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. see someone who Nice to really knows their subject. Good work on this.
    The picture makes it very tempting to try.


  8. This looks delicious! Great combo of flavors.

    Thanks for sharing :)


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