Farro Risotto (Farrotto)
This wintry risotto relies on farro for its springy, al dente texture to contract the soft, rich roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, and sage.
Yield: serves 4-6
- 2 1⁄2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sage, chopped
- 1 cup farro (pearled or semi pearled)
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 4 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded parmesan
- 1 tbsp. crème fraîche
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 25–30 minutes until the edges are browned and crisp. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle 1 tablespoon sage over the still hot squash.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in your farro and cook for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.
- In a 4 quart pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped shiitakes and sauté, about 3 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add in the shallots, garlic and thyme. Let cook until the shallots become slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the farro and stir, coating each kernel with butter. Add in the white wine and let simmer off.
- Turn the heat down to low and begin alternately adding in the chicken stock and the farro cooking liquid, a 1⁄4 cup at a time, stirring continuously with each addition. Do not add more liquid until the previous 1⁄4 cup has been completely absorbed by the farro. This process should take about 25–30 minutes. After the last addition, stir until about 2⁄3 of the liquid has been absorbed, and add in the mushrooms and roasted squash.
- Fold in the cheese and stir until just melted. Fold in the crème fraiche and remaining chopped sage for garnish, season with salt and pepper.