This pasta salad is hearty and satisfying - and it's vegetarian! Full of roasted cauliflower & butternut squash, tender tubes of ditalini, salty feta & tart cranberries, and tossed with a sweet and tangy Sherry maple vinaigrette, it's great as a side dish or main course.
Cook the farro: Pearled farro can be cooked the same way you cook rice (measuring a specific ratio of grains to water and cooking until the water is completely absorbed). If you want to go this route, or if you have "quick cook farro" which is already parboiled, cook according to package instructions.
I like to cook farro like pasta, I think it's easier and you get better results. For this method, bring a small/medium pot of well salted water to a boil. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse farro until the water runs clear. Add to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 20-25 minutes. Taste for doneness - the farro should be cooked through and not hard or crunchy but still have a little bit of chew to it. Drain excess water and transfer farro to a large mixing bowl, spreading it out to help it cool.
Roast the veggies: Preheat oven to 400°F. Chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Peel and deseed butternut squash and chop into ¾ inch cubes. Transfer cauliflower to one half of a sheet pan, transfer the butternut squash to the other half, and toss each with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Roast until tender and browned, about 20 minutes for the cauliflower and 25 for the butternut squash. Add to mixing bowl.
Keeping the butternut squash and cauliflower separated on the sheet pan will allow you to easily cook the squash a little longer if needed without overdoing the cauliflower.
Cook the pasta: While the farro cooks and the veggies roast, bring another small/medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook ditalini until tender, about 9 minutes (or according to package instructions). Drain and add to mixing bowl.
Make the vinaigrette: Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a two-cup measuring cup and blend with an immersion blender until emulsified. Or, add all ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine.
Dress and toss the salad: Add cranberries, pepitas, feta, and arugula to the mixing bowl with the farro, roasted veggies and pasta, and drizzle with dressing. Toss gently to combine and serve immediately.
If you're making this in advance, I recommend holding back the arugula and tossing that in shortly before serving - otherwise it can get a little too wilted.
Hearty Vegetarian Pasta Salad https://yummynoises.com/hearty-vegetarian-pasta-salad/