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Lamb Sausage and Dried Fig Farro

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Level: Easy

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Description

I love using traditional Italian ingredients in non-traditional ways. Between the dried figs and farro I had in my pantry, and the lamb sausage I discovered at my local Italian specialty shop, I became inspired. The chewy farro, sweet figs and crisp sausage work harmoniously in this dish. The pecorino really helps bring everything together and adds a nice, salty bite. The nuts and herbs make it even better.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Semi-pearled Farro
  • ¼ cups Dried Mission Figs, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces, fluid Italian Lamb Or Pork Sausage, Or Seasoned, Ground Lamb (See Note)
  • 1 whole Large Shallot, Chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Dry White Wine Or Chicken Broth
  • ¼ cups Pecorino Romano Cheese, Freshly Grated, Plus More For Serving
  • ¼ cups Toasted, Salted Hazelnuts, Chopped Or Toasted Pine Nuts
  • ¼ cups Parsley, Chopped

Preparation

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook about 15 minutes or until al dente. During the last 1–2 minutes, add figs to plump them up. Drain, reserving a cup of cooking water.

Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Remove sausage from casing and add to pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 6–8 minutes or until well-browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, reserving oil in pan.

Add shallot to pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat for 3–5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and thyme, and sauté for 30 seconds.

Pour in wine or broth, increase heat to high and reduce until mostly evaporated. Stir in farro, lamb, figs and a few tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Reheat ingredients over medium-high heat. Stir in cheese, taste for seasoning, and transfer to a serving dish when most of the excess liquid is absorbed. Stir in nuts and parsley. Serve with cheese, and enjoy.

Notes:
1. Cooking times vary depending on the type of farro used. Pearled farro is more processed than semi-pearled farro and thus, has a shorter cooking time. Semi-pearled varieties may also differ in cooking time. Hulled farro, which still contains the entire bran, requires the longest cooking time and should be soaked prior to cooking. Precooked versions also are available and may cook in 10 minutes.
2. The lamb sausage I used was flavored with paprika, parsley, garlic and pecorino cheese. Seeing as the dish already contains parsley, garlic and pecorino, if you want to use ground lamb, I suggest seasoning it simply with salt, pepper and paprika.

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