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Farro Pasta with Chicken Scarti and Borlotti Beans

Farro is an ancient type of wheat that gives pasta a firm bite and sweet, grainy flavor. Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack pair it with hearty, rustic sauces like this one, which gets its richness from quickly sautéed chicken livers.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, broken

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, minced

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, finely chopped

  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped sage

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • One 15-ounce can borlotti or cranberry beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 teaspoons chopped marjoram

  • 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/4 cup marsala or dry sherry

  • 1 pound farro pasta, such as pizzichi, casarecce or fusilli

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving


  1. In a heatproof cup, soak the porcini in the boiling water until softened, 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini to a strainer and rinse off any grit. Finely chop the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the minced chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned in spots, 6 minutes. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms along with the onion, carrots, celery, rosemary and sage. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until tender, 7 minutes longer.
  3. Gradually add the porcini soaking liquid to the vegetables, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the beans and simmer until very soft, 5 minutes. Stir in the marjoram.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Season the livers with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Stir and cook until just pink within, about 2 minutes longer. Add the marsala and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into the skillet with the chicken and beans and keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and cooking water to the skillet along with the 1/4 cup of Parmigiano and toss. Cook over low heat, tossing, until the pasta is thoroughly coated, about 2 minutes longer. Serve the pasta in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmigiano.

Suggested Pairing

This intensely earthy, herb-scented pasta can benefit from a juicy, fruit-forward wine like Dolcetto. Try one from Italy or California.

Photo © Christina Holmes Published April 2013

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