Crossposted from: The Ciao Italia Blog
Farro looks like wheat berries and is the original grain from which all others derive. Farro has a chewy texture, and it is a remarkably healthful food. It can used in so many ways: added to soups, as a stuffing for vegetables or used in casseroles like this one.
In this recipe it is combined with Italian sausage and mushrooms for a hearty main dish. Farro is available in grocery and specialty food stores and online. One cup raw farro will yield 2 1/2 cups cooked.
Farro with Sausage and Mushrooms
1 cup farro
3 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1/4 pound pancetta, minced
1/2 pound button or oyster mushrooms, caps cleaned, stemmed and cut into small pieces
1-pound pork sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Fine sea salt to taste
Place the farro in a 2-quart saucepan and cover with the water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In the same saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion and pancetta until the pancetta starts to brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook until they soften. Stir in the pork and cook it until it looses its pink color.
Return the farro to the pot and stir to combine well.
In separate bowl, combine the tomato juice, tomato paste and red wine. Pour the ingredients into the pot and stir the ingredients well.
Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium low and cook about 20 minutes, or just until the liquid is almost absorbed and the farro is cooked through but still chewy.
Stir in the cheese and salt to taste and serve hot in soup bowls.
Pass extra cheese on the side to sprinkle on top.