This recipe was a bit ambitious for a weeknight in our house, but is a winning combination of creamy farro and Parmesan cheese, grated butternut squash, and (perfect for holiday leftovers) diced ham. Farro contains the same amount of calories as rice, but more fiber and protein, so it’s a great nutritional choice.
Recipe from Serious Eats.
- 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped leeks or onions
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup semi-pearled farro
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. dried
- 2 cups grated butternut squash (about 1/2 lb.)
- 2 cups diced country ham (4 to 6 oz.)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for garnish and to pass at the table
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy saucepan. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften but do not brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the broth to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Stir the farro into the leeks and continue cooking until the farro is lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until it evaporates, about a minute.
Stir in 2 cups of the broth, 2 Tbs. of the fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. dried, and the squash. Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes.
Gradually stir in the remaining broth, each time returning to a boil, then reducing to a simmer, until the mixture thickens.
After the farro has cooked for a total of 20 minutes, begin tasting for doneness. When it is tender but still chewy, stir in the ham.
Turn off the heat, and stir in the Parmesan, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into shallow bowls. Garnish individual portions with the remaining fresh sage and a light dusting of parmesan. Serve immediately.