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Farro Risotto with Mushrooms

Our current obsession is with farro, a grain with which you may not be familiar, but believe us, once you find it, cook it, and eat it, you will be smitten! We have taken to boiling up a fair amount at a time and keeping it in the fridge to toss into salads, stir into soups, or simply mix with olive oil and Parmesan for a quick lunch. Here, farro is put to use in a fabulous risotto with Marsala wine and ricotta cheese. Get ready to swoon!

Farro Risotto with Mushrooms

½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
½ cup boiling water
¼ cup olive oil
1 leek, washed, trimmed, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced
2¾ cup pearled farro (perlato)
¼ cup Marsala wine
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
leaves from a few fresh thyme sprigs or ½ tsp. dried
1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Cover the dried mushrooms with the boiling water. In a wide, heavy saucepan with a lid, add 2 tbs. of the olive oil and add the leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, then chop them and add them to the pot. Add the farro and stir to coat, then tip in the Marsala and porcini-soaking liquid and let it bubble a bit.

Add the broth, clamp on the lid, turn down the heat and cook for 30 minutes, until the farro is cooked and the liquid absorbed.

While the farro is cooking, warm the remaining 2 tbs. olive oil in a medium skillet and cooked the sliced mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until they soften. Add the thyme and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until the farro is done.

Take the farro off the heat and stir in the sliced mushrooms, ricotta and Parmesan. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

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