Farro with Pancetta
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 10
Farro, a nutty Italian wheat grain, is delicious mixed simply with pancetta and fragrant porcini mushrooms. But Peter Pastan pushes it over the top by drenching it in a few ladlefuls of braising liquid from his beef flatiron recipe.
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup boiling hot water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 ounce thinly sliced pancetta, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery leaves
- 1 pound farro (2 1/2 cups)
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup reserved beef braising liquid (from Red Wine-Braised Beef), optional
- In a small, heatproof bowl, soak the porcini in the hot water until softened, about 15 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out of the soaking liquid and coarsely chop them. Reserve the soaking liquid.
- In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring a few times, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped porcini along with the parsley and celery leaves and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the farro and stirring to coat the grains, about 1 minute.
- Slowly pour the reserved mushroom soaking liquid into the saucepan, stopping before you reach the grit at the bottom. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the farro is tender but still slightly chewy. Remove the thyme sprigs.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the farro along with the beef braising liquid, if using. Stir to combine well and serve.
Make Ahead The farro can be prepared through Step 3 and held at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Reheat gently before proceeding.