Farro Risotto with Sausage and Mushrooms

I've had this recipe sitting in my blog queue for a little while, not because I didn't think it was good enough to post, no sir, nothing could be further from the truth.  I was initially a little hesitant to offer up a recipe that asks you to stand at the stove and stir and tend to a dish that might take 30-40 minutes, but I've changed my mind.  Nope.  No longer feeling bad about that.   In fact, I'm going to strongly urge you to do so.  And the reason is that this is one of the most delicious risottos I've ever tasted.  Not even kidding.  

If you haven't cooked with farro before, man you've got a treat ahead.  It's one of the most delicious grains out there, in my humble opinion.  And in addition to being ever so scrumptious, it's also quite good for you.  In terms of nutrition, it's about the same as quinoa, only it has more calcium. Here's a little more about that.  Delicious and Nutritious is what we're all about here.  

Farro isn't new to the Circle B Kitchen.  We've used it to make this lovely caprese salad and we've also used it to make this Mediterranean Farro Bowl, both incredibly delicious ways to get your farro fix.

But this risotto has captured our hearts and tastebuds and is now on the list of the Circle B regular meal rotation.  Which, by the way, is so long now that we have trouble keeping track of our favorites.  There must be an app for that.

If you're already a big fan of farro, you've got to try it in this risotto.  If you've never cooked with it before, I heartily encourage you to nab a bag of the stuff, pull out a heavy pot and get to stirring. You'll be so glad you did.  Here's the recipe... 

Farro Risotto with Sausage and Mushrooms

Click here for a printable recipe

Farro has now replaced rice as our risotto ingredient of choice.  It’s unexpectedly hearty and flavorful and extremely delicious.  In spite of the 40-minute time frame outlined in the recipe, mine was done in 30 minutes, so begin tasting your farro at 30 minutes.  I made a few changes to the original recipe which I found on the Food52 website.  I didn’t have fresh mushrooms on hand, so I substituted them with some dried porcinis that I think added loads of flavor.  I also substituted spinach for the peas.  This is just so good with a fried or poached egg on top. 

Recipe Adapted from Food52

Serves 4 

2 tablespoons butter
3 links sausage, casings removed (I used turkey Italian sausage)
1 medium onion, diced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (I used ½ cup dried porcinis)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup farro
1/3 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups warm chicken or vegetable broth, or as needed
1/2 cup peas (I used ½ cup frozen, thawed spinach)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
4 poached or fried eggs, for serving 

Prep:

1.  If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute them in warm water while you prep the rest of your ingredients. Drain them and slice up the bigger pieces.  (If  using fresh mushrooms, wipe them clean with a paper towel and slice them.)

2.  Chop the garlic 

3.  If using frozen spinach, thaw it in the microwave and then squeeze out as much moisture as possible.  You should have about ½ cup. 

4.  Grate the parmesan cheese 

5.  Chop the parsley 

6.  Pour 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. 

Directions: 

In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage, and cook until it begins to brown. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant. 

Add the farro and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and continuing to work over medium heat, stir constantly until the wine is almost completely reduced.   Add the bay leaf, and season the mixture with salt and pepper. 

Begin adding the stock, 1 ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until the farro has absorbed all the liquid, roughly 40 minutes (mine was done in 30 minutes).  It may take all three cups of broth (or more, or less). Taste the farro along the way. When it is nice and tender, it is finished. 

When the farro is tender, fold in the peas (or spinach) and Parmesan cheese. 

When the farro is about done cooking, either fry or poach one egg per person. 

Scoop the risotto onto four plates or pasta bowls, sprinkle with more cheese and top with one egg per each serving. Finish with salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley.

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