Have You Tried Farrotto?

November 7, 2014

Risotto is almost a household word on many restaurant menus and that is well and good but why not show your culinary genius and make it with farro, a nutritious grain with a nutty flavor. Farrotto can be the start to a great dinner or it can be dinner itself with a side salad and a crisp glass of wine. And that is just the beginning of what you can do with farro. It is also a great addition to soup and stews and oh, yes, it makes nifty and crunchy tasting patties or squares if you have any farrotto leftover.

1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1/2 pounds)|

6 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, well rinsed, and diced
1 cup farro
3 ½ cups hot chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine 

1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese 

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Cut off the pumpkin stem. With a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Cut the pumpkin in half, and remove and discard the seeds and stringy flesh. Dice enough of the pumpkin or squash to make 1 cup.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the pumpkin and leek and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened. Add the farro and stir to coat with the butter. Cook, stirring, until the farro begins to crackle, about 5 minutes; do not let brown. Slowly add ½ cup of the chicken broth and stir constantly until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Add a little of the wine and continue stirring until it is absorbed. Continue adding broth and wine alternately, stirring all the while, until the farro is al dente, with a creamy consistency. 

Stir in the cheeses, blending well and stirring until the mascarpone melts. Serve immediately.

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