January 25, 2021

Farro and Sausage Soup - Zuppa di Farro e Salsiccia

Recipe:

Today, as the main protagonist of our soup, the ancient power grain called farro will shine in a flavorful dish accompanied by beans and sausage. There is just nothing better than a delicious, warm and healthy soup when the weather gets cold. Let's get started!

Did you know that farro is one of the most ancient whole grains known to man? Not only a staple in Mesopotamia, but vastly used in Egypt where it was found in the tombs of the kings.  Also common in the diet of the Roman legions.  Although it only recently made a comeback in the kitchens of North America, this grain survived over the centuries in Italy, where it is vastly cultivated in Garfagnana, Tuscany.  As a very versatile grain it is not only perfect in a soup, but can also be served as a "risotto".  What about a cold farro salad, or simply made into a mouthwatering side dish accompanied by a generous drizzle of olive oil?  This power grain can also be milled into a rich, nutritional flour.

Supplies:

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams Farro or spelt (Spelt is not exactly the same as the Italian Farro, but you can use it if you can't find farro). More is explained at the end of the blog.
  • 270 grams red beans
  • 450 grams Italian sausage (preferably without fennel seeds)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 onion chopped - white or red
  • 3 cloves of garlic in camicia - with the skin on
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 5-6 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (about 3 inches long)
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes - these can be omitted or more can be added
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 liters of water or broth
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. When using dry red kidney beans, soak them in cold water overnight. If using canned beans, make sure to rinse them before use.
  2. Remove sausage from casing and shape into small meat balls.
  3. Preheat the large skillet in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil and sauté the chopped onion in the pan.
  4. Add the hot pepper flakes and the "aglio in camicia" - garlic with the skin on, and place into the oven to caramelize.
  5. In the meantime boil the water or broth.
  6. Add the farro, sage leaves, rosemary, halved tomatoes, cubed potatoes, and the beans. Place the covered pot on one side of the oven.
  7. Take the skillet with the onion mixture out of the oven, and add the sausage rounds. Place back into the oven and brown the meat well.
  8. Once the meat is nicely browned, transfer it into the pot with the farro and the rest of the ingredients, as shown in the video. 
  9. Simmer the soup with the lid half way covered for about 35 minutes or until the texture of the farro is chewy but not overcooked.
  10. Serve immediately with a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Enjoy! 

Buon Appetito!

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    Interesting facts:

    Are Farro and spelt the same thing? There are many opinions and ideas as to the difference between the two grains. Following is what we have concluded. We would love to hear your opinion. In Italy this ancient wheat is classified in three groups. Commonly they are known as:

    1. Farro piccolo (small),
    2. Farro medio (medium), and
    3. Farro grande (large). 
    • Triticum monococcum (einkorn) Farro piccolo - the most ancient wheat - grows on a very small plant, with small leaves and a small, soft grain.
    • Triticum dicoccon (emmer) Farro medio - is the species that is more diffused in the Mediterranean area and the plant and seed are larger in size. 
    • Finally the Triticum spelta (spelt) Farro grande - is more widely used in the northern part of Europe and US and the seed is more adapt to making flour.