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Farro Pasta with Chicken Scarti and Borlotti Beans

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  • Servings: 6

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 sauteed chicken livers.

KEY: Italian, Pasta & Noodles, Dinner

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Ingredients

  • 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

How to make this recipe

  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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