farro with tuna, white beans and mushrooms

Another uninspired dinner was on bob's to do list after an intense day at home with academic pursuits that was fast running out of time. A recent pasta recipe he'd seen somewhere had white beans and tuna, so that combo was on his mind, although the recipe was lost and there turned out to be no tuna on hand. We rarely seem to do bean dishes in spite of our love for them and the fact we know very well that they are healthy protein contributors to the better food choice table. And farro, we love it but why does it not appear often enough on our menu calendar? So the idea was farro with tuna and cannellini, and some mushrooms thrown in for good measure, and some cooked power greens on the side, needed for sure since this is certainly a color deprived combination. Requiring a quick trip to the nearest supermarket at precisely the wrong time of day: late afternoon rush hour. Where do all these people come from out here on the Main Line outside Philly? How does the planet keep supplying the fuel?

And what's with all the choices for canned tuna? bob lingered for quite some time trying to decipher all the varieties and prices and higher quality labels and looking for that dolphin safe seal of approval. They seem to come in 6oz or 12 oz cans. Finally bob grabbed the big Giant can of  "fancy Albacore" in water. In this dish, the choice can hardly matter, one might think. Anyone out there able to explain how to choose canned tuna? Google knows of course, but so far, only ani has a smart phone to check in the store when the question came up. But honestly, do we have to do research to buy canned tuna? Why is life so complicated?


1 c farro, cooked as directed, depending on the amount of pre-processing
1 15.5 oz can cannellini beans, drained
1 12 oz can tuna, drained
8 oz chopped baby bellas or any mushroom, cleaned and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
a hit of allspice
Middle Eastern red pepper or paprika
a touch of truffle salt (if you have any, we buy ours cheaper in Rome)
extra virgin olive oil to saut� the mushrooms and wet down the final product


  1. Read the farro prep instructions before contemplating this dish .There are all kinds of farro on the market, we thought farro sgusciato meant pearled farro, which cooks quicker, but we left it boiling an hour before. Literally it means shelled farro, but the minimum one can do we imagine is to remove the outer husk of the farro, which means this is the long cooking variety. Usually our stuff from Italy takes about 20 minutes.
  2. Start the farro cooking in boiling water than just covers the stuff, turning down to simmer once it starts to boil.
  3. Open the two cans. Drain the contents.
  4. Prep the mushrooms if necessary and saut� them in a few T of olive oil.
  5. When the farro is ready for mixing with the other ingredients, drain off the remaining water and dump in the drained beans and broken up tuna, and throw in the appropriate spices (be generous for rich flavor) on low heat to warm up the beans and tuna.
  6. Once heated though adjust for spices and add in some olive oil for taste and lubrication.
  7. Serve immediately.


  1. So we served this with cooked power greens in padella, another story in itself. Another option would be to actually mix the greens into the farro dish. bob likes to mix things up, but some of you may like to keep stuff separate. It all ends up in the same place.
  2. Illustrations available.
farrotunabeanmushroom.htm: 19-oct-2012 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]