This is an excellent “risotto” made using farro. It is terrific in the winter or fall as a first course, perhaps followed by a roasted bird or meat of your choice.
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 (unless you are lucky enough to have a stash in your cellar!)
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock,** 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 & keep warm on low heat. Heat the EVO & butter in a medium sized pot & add the shallots. Sauté until translucent, add the farro & stir until coated & lightly toasted; approximately 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of wine & let reduce, stirring constantly, cook until it reduces & there is very little liquid left. Ladle in ½ cup stock at a time, stirring & adding more stock as it is absorbed into the farro. Repeat until all stock is used up. Add the remaining ½ cup wine & continue to cook until the farro is al dente 12 – 15 minutes, adding more stock until it is; season to taste with more salt if required & freshly ground black pepper. Add the cheese & butter, stirring until incorporated. Serve immediately.
**A note about Farro Perlato. I have, so far, been unable to find pearled farro in Vancouver, so I buy it in Italy & in London at an Italian Deli. You can easily find the regular farro, but for making risotto with regular farro there are two schools of thought on the preparation method. One is to pre-soak & one is not. Both methods are below & you can decide which one works for you.
Soak the farro in cold water to cover for 8 – 12 hours, drain & continue with the recipe.
OR: sauté the onion & garlic as above, add the unsoaked farro, stirring for a minute to coat with oil & butter, add 1 cup of wine & reduce, stirring constantly, add 1 ½ cup hot broth & ½ tsp salt, stir to combine; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover & simmer about 10 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the farro. Add remaining ½ cup of the wine, boil over medium heat, uncovered, until tender adding more broth ¼ cup at a time, stirring occasionally, until farro is al dente, approximately 25 minutes, the farro should not be dry. Season farro to taste with salt & pepper to taste, stir in the cheese & butter until creamy.
**If you would like to make your own stock, please go to Making Stock.