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Farro with Cod

Farrotto con Merluzzo


Farro is extremely nutritious and versatile, perfect in many recipes. In this version, poached cod is added to the cooked farro at the last minute. It is called farrotto because the cooking process is similar to making a risotto in which Arborio rice is lightly toasted in melted butter in a pot before liquids are added.

Viewers who request really healthy food will enjoy this well-balanced dish that is high in essential vitamins and nutrients. It makes a good main course served with a side dish of steamed Swiss chard and a green salad.


1 pound skinless cod

3 cups water

1/2 cup farro

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups diced leeks

1 carrot, scraped and diced

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Grinding of black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Simmer the cod in the water in a sauté pan just until the fish turns milky-white and easily flakes. Drain the fish with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. With a fork, flake the fish and set aside.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a copper or heavy-clad 2-quart pot. Stir in the farro, leeks, carrots, and parsley, and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, to coat all the grains. When the leeks are wilted and soft, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the broth and stir the mixture until all the broth is absorbed. Continue adding small amounts of liquid, allowing the grain to absorb each addition. Add the wine and cook the mixture just until the grains are no longer hard; they should remain firm but cooked. Gently stir in the cod and cook slowly just until the mixture is hot. Stir in the salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA-BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2001.


  1. Diana's avatar


    This is a wonderfully tasteful and simple recipe that is delicious and healthy too. The only change I made to the recipe as written was to increase the farro to one cup. Though simple it does take some time to properly cook the farro with 4 additions of the broth. Worth the time and effort.

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