In this clever slow cooker dish, farro gets simmered with tomatoes and sausage until thick and hearty, then broiled with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan. A quick and simple topping of lemon and herbed panko gives it the perfect crunchy finish.
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3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add two-thirds of the garlic, the dried oregano, crushed red pepper and fennel seeds. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar, then scrape into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the farro, crushed tomatoes and 2 1/2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high until the farro is tender, 2 1/2 hours. Stir in the scallions.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the panko and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the parsley, lemon zest, fresh oregano and the remaining garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is tender, 1 minute. Season with salt. Transfer to a plate.
Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. Scrape the farro mixture into a 3-quart oval baking dish or 4 small baking dishes. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and top with the mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown, about 5 minutes; rotate the baking dish halfway through broiling. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the panko and serve.
The cooled panko can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
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Review Body: I made this last weekend and it was easy - The farro I used needed more than 2.5 hours to really cook - I think I went 3 but so tasty. I actually forgot the parmesan but that was not a big deal.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-01-18
Author Name: Barbara Kreemer
Review Body: This was great! I don't have a slow cooker, so I cooked the farro first, then mixed everything together. I had a 5 cheese Italian mix that I put on top, then broiled and added panko. I loved the chew of the farro.
Date Published: 2017-02-15
Author Name: Merle_Wilson
Review Body: I'm not so fond of sausages but looking at the recipe it looks really delicious. Got any suggestion on what I could replace sausages with?
Date Published: 2017-01-22
Author Name: Jacqlene See-free
Review Body: this was fantastic. the only substitutions i made were sweet italian chicken sausage instead of pork, and a little extra cheese. the spice measurements are exact. so easy - just prep and then throw in the slow cooker. this is definitely being added to the rotation!
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-01-27
Author Name: karmijames
Review Body: Great recipe. Have to admit that it sounded strange and I was a skeptic!
I used wheat berries instead of farro. Also added mushrooms and kale. Cooked it all in the crock pot on low for 5 hours. It was cooked to perfection.
The amount of panko seemed extreme. I didn't put it all on the finished dish, but have some saved now for when I make this again because I will.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-03-19
Author Name: CookerRD
Review Body: What a fantastic recipe! So much flavor. We used the hot Italian sausage ( in the recipe you could choose sweet or hot) it was an amazing choice. This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but they are ALL SOooooooo worth it. We will make this again, love it so much.