Farro literally translates to ‘grain’ in Italian. This healthy alternative to white rice is an ancient grain that dates back thousands of years and a staple in my kitchen.
I love farro, not only for it’s nutritional value, but also it’s chewy texture when cooked. It is very similar to barley, another nutritious ancient grain.
Nowadays, it is pretty hard to deny that white starches aren’t the healthiest choice and it’s nice to find different alternatives, that are not only good for you, but actually taste delicious!
Farro is packed with fibre, vitamins and protein, among other things, making it difficult not wanting to try it out. Adding farro to your diet can help improve your cardiovascular health, regulate diabetes, lower cholesterol and with a lower caloric intake, a better choice if trying to lose weight.
The key when cooking farro is not undercook it or overcook it. Scared? Don’t be, it’s easier than you think. I usually use 30 minutes as my target time, and taste it a little before and after until I reach my desired texture.
If you haven’t tried farro, I highly recommend you do. This risotto recipe is really easy to follow and you will look like a professional chef at your next dinner party. I chose to roast the pumpkin and zucchini, that way they maintain a firmer texture and not mushy if I were to have added them in the same pan as the risotto.
Pumpkin and Zucchini Farro Risotto
- 1/2 a small pumpkin
- 1 zucchini
- 1 white onion
- 1-2 carrots
- 400 grams of farro, rinsed.
- 4-5 cups of broth
- 1/2 bottle of white cooking wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of grated parmigiano reggiano
- Dice the pumpkin and zucchini
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- On a baking pan, place parchment paper and add the diced pumpkin.
- Sprinkle a little salt and olive oil and let it roast for 30-40 minutes.
- At the 30 minute mark, add the zucchini to the pan and let them roast with the pumpkin for the last 10 minutes.
- Once done, set aside and let it cool.
While the pumpkin is roasting, start working on the risotto.
- In a large pan heat up 2 tablespoons of EVOO (medium high)
- Add onion and carrots and sauté until translucent (5-7 minutes)
- Add the rinsed farro into the pan and let it fry for about 5 minutes, stirring it so it doesn’t stick or burn.
- Pour white wine into the pan and stir it into the mixture.
- Once the wine starts to absorb, add a ladle of broth.
- Keep adding a ladle of broth as the farro continues to absorb it.
- Continue doing this for about 30 minutes (always tasting the farro, ensuring the texture is how you want it)
- Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, a dash of pepper and combine in mixture.
- Just before you add the veggies, add 2 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano and mix it into the risotto. (this will make your risotto extra creamy)
- Season the diced pumpkin and zucchini separately and add into the pan with the farro.
- Let it simmer for a few more minutes (approx. 3-5 minutes) and serve.