I don’t know about you, but I love a good arancini (Italian rice ball). Rich, cheesy, deep fried…what’s not love? Well, for starters it’s not exactly considered a health food. Therefore, my mission was to recreate my own version that would satisfy both our tastebuds and waistlines. (Okay, okay, I don’t currently have a waistline, but I hear it eventually comes back after the baby arrives.)
Farro came to mind as the ideal starch component, full of protein for an added benefit. Savory marinara, creamy nonfat ricotta, a bit of nutty parmesan, green peas and a light coating of panko breadcrumbs bake together forming a true tribute to the full-fat, high calorie alternative. Plus, you skip the mess of portioning them into rounds and splattering oil everywhere.
You can keep this vegetarian or throw in some lean ground beef (I mashed turkey meatballs into Hubby’s portion) for additional iron.
This hearty dish is packed with nutrients, offering a guilt-free twist on a comforting classic. Embrace these chilly winter days and warm up with a plate (or two!) of this tonight!
1 (8.8 oz.) package 10-minute farro
1 (28 oz.) can marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup non-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
Ground beef or turkey meat, optional
Simmer farro with salted water according to packaged instructions.
Drain when ready.
In the meantime, mince garlic.
Sautee in olive oil until slightly golden.
Pour in marinara sauce.
In a small bowl, combine ricotta,
And kosher salt.
Once farro is ready, add to sauce.
Stir in ricotta mixture.
If adding meat, do so now. Then, transfer farro mixture into a baking dish.
Top with breadcrumbs.
Broil for a few minutes, until crisp and golden.
Eat and enjoy on a chilly winter night!
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