This is an excellent “risotto” made using farro, an ancient grain that’s become popular again. It’s a terrific starter (or primo) or side dish in the winter or fall, perhaps followed by a roasted bird or meat of your choice. Not that long ago I simply could not find semi-pearled (perlato) where we live so I always picked up a few bags in Italy to bring home. Regular farro can be used but it takes a very long time to cook.
Makes 3 – 4 First Course Servings
2 Tbsp. EVO
2 small shallots, chopped fine
200 grams farro perlato (semi-pearled)
1 ½ cups Chianti Classico wine, or other good, fruity Italian Red
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (see below) or tinned low/no salt chicken broth
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
Freshly grated Grana Padano cheese or Parmigiano
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the stock in a pot until hot. Cover with a lid and keep warm on low heat. Heat the EVO and butter in a medium sized pot add the shallots, sauté until translucent. Add the farro, stirring until coated and lightly toasted; approximately 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of wine, letting it reduce, stirring constantly until there is very little liquid left. Ladle in ½ cup stock at a time, stirring and adding more stock as it is absorbed into the farro. Add the remaining ½ cup wine and continue to cook until the farro is al dente, about 12 – 15 minutes, adding more stock until it is; season to taste with more salt if required and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cheese and butter, stirring until incorporated. Serve immediately.
Helpful link to Making Stock.