Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Farro with Italian Sausage

OK, so I didn't get home until 8:00 tonight and I was at work until 11:30 last night. Translation: It's a wonder I managed to cook at all when Seamless Web is so damn easy. So, I apologize (sorta) for this being more of a method than an actual recipe, but I'm sure you'll figure it out anyway. It's not rocket science (or baking) after all. Nothing's going to happen if you use a little less of one thing and more of another. Cooking without recipes is the most relaxing way for me to cook (why I don't bake much), so just give in and make this non-recipe work with whatever you have on hand.

Farro with Italian Sausage
(note: all amounts are very rough approximations)
1 cup farro (an Italian grain)
3 links spicy Italian sausage (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 shallots (chopped)
1 Tbsp. extra light olive oil
1/2 giant horse carrot (about 3/4 cup chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1/2 small red bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
4 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
2 cups chicken stock (use one with the lowest sodium possible)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (stripped from stems)
salt (to taste)
OK, so I cooked the farro in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes and then drained it ina colander. While that was cooking, I sauteed the sausage. When it was fairly browned, I added the shallot and garlic as well as the oil since the sausage hadn't released enough fat. After a couple minutes, I added the carrot and celeryand then the red pepper after that. After another three to four minutes I cleared a space in the middle os the pan and added the tomato paste, which I smushed (yes, that's a technical term...) into the hot pan to get it caramelized. After that I poured in the wine and gave in a couple minutes to burn off the alcohol. (The pan was on a high flame this entire time.) Then I added the farro and chicken stock to cover. At this point I let everything bubble away while I sorted my mail, washed as much as I could and drank a glass of the wine that was in the dish. About 20 minutes later, most of the liquid had reduced down and I served myself.
Overall impressions... This dish was a little too salty (probably becase the sausage was so salty on its own) and my vegetable chopping was a litle too sloppy to go ver will in a restaurant, magazine or culinary school. Although, I guess you could just call it "country" and everything is forgiven.
Well, I'm here if you have questions. For the record, the technique I used here could be applied to any number of ingredients. Different meats, particularly ground meats, could be used. Other vegetables could be added. Beef or vegetable stock are fair game. You could use a white wine instead. And other grains could be used although not all need to be pre-cooked in wated bfore adding to the main dish. You get the picture...
Bon Appetit!


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