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Farro and Crushed Pistachio “Meatballs"

Farro and Crushed Pistachio “Meatballs"

Served on Zoodles!

Serves: 5-6 people

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Special equipment: Vegetable spiralizer (the Kitchenaid attachment works well but a simple handheld one works great!)

Yes, meatless meatballs! They are a thing, and they are not that fake processed soy stuff. These “meatballs” have a great texture that replaces the mouthfeel of meat well. The “meatballs” themselves are versatile and can be used with a lot of different pasta dishes. 


For the “meatballs”

  • 2 cups of dry farro grain
  • About 6 cups of water for boiling farro grain
  • 1 cup of pistachios crushed 
  • ¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 6 eggs 
  •  ¾ -1 cup of bread crumbs (bread crumbs are the binder so more or less may be needed)

For the Zoodles and pesto pasta!

  • 5 large zucchini
  • 1 pound of ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package of small fresh mozzarella balls 
  • One small package of fresh basil
  • 5-6 cups of spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts (can substitute with toasted almond or walnuts)
  • ½ grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil as needed


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
  • Start boiling the 6 cups of water for the farro (I like to make farro similar to making pasta, by cooking it in excess water and then straining it off)
  • While the oven and water are heating up, prepare your ingredients; 
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Set pan aside until they are ready to go into the oven. 
  • Use a food processor or blender to crush your pistachios. (you can also crush them by putting them in a ziplock bag, wrapping it in a towel, and then use a mallet to smack the bag)
  • Spiralize your zucchini! 
  • Destem the basil if not already done.
  • Peel the garlic. 
  • When the water starts to boil, pour the 2 cups of farro into it.
  • Now that your Farro has started to cook, begin to make your pesto;
  • Combine basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender. Blend until a paste starts to form.
  • Now add in spinach a little at a time (blending in between each add) until all the spinach has become part of the paste. You might have to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the mixer to ensure all of the leaves become ground.
  • With the blender or processor spinning slowly pour olive oil into the paste until it becomes more sauce-like. You can make your pesto as thick or as thin as you would like by adding more or less olive oil. 
  • Now taste your pesto and add in salt/pepper to your liking.
  • Set the pesto aside in a bowl until the rest of the meal is ready. 
  • Now check your farro. Just take a spoonful and taste it. The farro will be done when it is chewy but not crunchy. If the farro is done, strain off all of the excess water. 
  • Put your cooked farro into a large mixing bowl and add in the crushed pistachios, parmesan cheese, kosher salt, and cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Crack the 6 eggs into the farro mixture and then add the bread crumbs. Stir the mixture to combine. 
  • Once the mixture has been completely combined, take a small amount of the mixture with your hands (about the size of a golf ball) and try to form it into a round shaped patty. If your mixture is too dry and the round falls apart, add another egg into the mix. If your mixture is too wet and just sticks to your hands, add in some more bread crumbs. 
  • Once you are able to make rounds without them falling apart, start to make the rounds and place them onto a baking sheet. 
  • Now all of the different pieces of the meal are prepped and are just waiting to be cooked or put together. 
  • The “meatballs” are going to be shallow fried in a saute pan, so start heating a saute pan over high heat coated in a decent amount of vegetable oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil. 
  • The “zoodles” are going to be steamed, so start preheating a large skillet over medium high heat. 
  • The cherry tomatoes are now finally ready to go in the oven! Place them in the oven and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the skin is slightly wrinkled. 
  • Now start to fry the “meatballs”. They should take about 1-2 minutes per side, or cook until the outsides have been browned slightly. Place the finished meatballs on a pan that has been lined with paper towels and set in a warm place for a few minutes while you steam the zoodles. 
  • Place all of your zoodles into the hot skillet, stir them around a little and make sure they all start to slightly soften. Pour about 1 cup of water into the skillet and cover it. Let the zoodles steam for about 1 minute and then turn off the heat. 
  • Now you are finally ready to plate and eat! Using tongs, place some zoodles onto a plate. Then add the mozzarella ball and cherry tomatoes over the top of the zoodles. Now add the “meatballs” and a dollop of pesto over the top.
  • Enjoy!

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