Farro and Artichoke “Polpette” (Italian Vegetarian Meatballs)

Who knew that hidden inside that prickly, giant thistle-like bud would be the perfect ingredient for this yummy vegetarian dish? This makes about 24-26 golfball-sized polpette. Thank you, Intermediate Chef Jon Bennion!


Farro and Artichoke Polpette -Landscape-1

1 cup uncooked Timeless Natural Food® Semi-Pearled Farro
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced celery
2 artichokes or 8 oz. frozen artichoke hearts
2 eggs
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 cup shredded mozzarella
4 tbsp butter
¼ cup of dry white wine
5 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
10 pitted and chopped Castelvetrano olives


3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil


Fresh parsley
Fresh parmesan


In a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the Timeless Natural Food Semi-Pearled Farro. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Check the texture - it should have softened while continuing to hold its shape. Cook longer if needed. When done, strain the farro and reserve the cooking liquid.

For this recipe, you can either use fresh artichokes, or buy frozen artichoke hearts in your freezer section. If you use the frozen, simply let them thaw in the packaging for a few hours before chopping them finely.

If you are using fresh artichokes, clean your artichokes by removing the tough leaves around the outside and the fuzzy choke at the center. If you have never done this, watch some videos online to show the most efficient way. Cut the cleaned artichokes in half and throw into cold water that has some lemon juice squeezed into it.

In a sauté pan on medium heat, sweat the onions and celery in the butter for about five minutes. While that is cooking, finely chop the artichokes and then throw in the sauté pan. Add salt and pepper. Add the farro and cook for another three minutes. Add the dry white wine and allow to cook off – about three minutes while you stir. Put everything from the pan onto a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

Add the egg, grated parmesan, shredded mozzarella, breadcrumbs and mix well. Take ½ cup of the mixture and blitz it in a food processor to create a paste. Add the paste back in to the bowl and mix well, adding the chopped olives now.

With your hands, form golfball-sized polpette. Put on the foil lined baking tray and back into the fridge for 20 minutes. If there is any difficulty in the mixture staying together, add little bits of the reserved vegetable broth little by little until it holds.

Set up a breading station with three plates – flour, whisked eggs, and bread crumbs. Salt and pepper each of them liberally. Coat each ball with the flour, then egg mixture, and then bread crumbs.

In a large saucepan, add enough vegetable oil to go up two inches and heat to 375 degrees. Cook 3-4 polpette at a time. They should take about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure your oil is at 375 each round of frying. When you remove from them from the oil, season with salt. Place cooked ones in an oven safe pan and put in a 350 degree oven to stay hot while you cook the others. Serve with a lemon wedge and topped with freshly grated parmesan and freshly chopped parsley.

images and recipe ©Jon Bennion, Intermediate Chef, used with permission.