Farro’s deliciously chewy texture and earthy flavor make it perfect for this risotto-style dish, a hearty variation on the classic. Serve with a crisp green salad for a satisfying meatless meal.
Risotto-Style Farro with Porcini and Pecorino
1 oz. (30 g.) dried porcini mushrooms, steeped in 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) boiling water for 30 minutes
4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed flat but left whole
1 lb. (500 g.) mixed fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, portobello and shiitake, sliced
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g.) farro, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) dry white wine
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) vegetable or chicken broth, preferably homemade, heated to a simmer
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, plus a handful of shaved pieces for garnish
Drain the porcini, reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and strain the broth into a clean bowl through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a damp paper towel. Set aside.
In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic. Add the fresh mushrooms and the porcini to the pan and toss gently to coat them with the fat. Sprinkle in the thyme and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and a little browned, 10 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic and set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-low heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the shallot and saute until the shallot is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and stir until well coated with the oil, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and reserved porcini broth, and stir until the liquid has been absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium and add a ladleful or two of the hot chicken broth. Cook, stirring from time to time (you don’t have to stir it constantly), until the broth has been absorbed. Continue to cook, adding broth as needed, until the farro is tender but still pleasantly chewy, 25-30 minutes total.
Stir in the vinegar and grated cheese. Spoon the farrotto into a serving bowl, scatter the shaved pecorino on top, and serve. Serves 4-6.
Recipe from Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.