Oh fall, how happy we are that you have arrived with your hearty, warming dishes. How excited we are to get back into the kitchen filled with renewed energy & ideas.
Matt has declared this our go-to dish of the winter. And why not, it's simple to make (especially if you have tomato sauce already made), contains healthy ingredients & most importantly, tastes great. It's one of those rustic dishes with deep, mellow flavors that seems to just call out to be eaten in front of a fireplace. Farro makes a great base alternative to pasta or rice with a slightly nutty flavor & great texture. The Italian sausage can be mild or hot based on your preference. We used chard in this because we had some still in the garden but later in the winter we'll use some of the kale that we've blanched & frozen.
Farro with Sausage & Chard
4.25 oz dry farro
1/2 T olive oil
8 oz bulk Italian sausage
4 large chard leaves with stems. Stems chopped & leaves roughly chopped. Keep separate.
1 c tomato sauce (see below)
freshly grated Parmesan
Put the farro in a bowl & cover with cold water. Let soak for 30 minutes.
Put the farro & water into a saucepan. Add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until tender but still with a slight bite. Drain & set aside.
Hear the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage & chard stems. Sauté until the sausage is cooked through. Add the cooked farro, chard leaves & tomato sauce. Cook until heated through & the chard leaves are wilted.
Serve topped with grated Parmesan
Makes 2 servings
A good tomato sauce will really make a difference in the final flavor of this dish. You want one that is on the thicker side with lots of flavor. I made mine using a roasted tomato method recommended by my cousin. She buys a crate of tomatoes every fall to make sauce this way since it is her families favorite. Let me tell you, I'll be making tomato sauce this way myself from now on. Not only is it really easy (Just roast the veggies & then throw them in a blender with the seasonings, no blanching & peeling, no all day cooking.) but the resulting flavor is just amazing. The natural sugars in the tomatoes, onions & garlic start to caramelize during roasting giving the sauce a mellow sweetness that doesn't require any other sugar. The sauce comes out thick & dark with an intensity you don't get from jarred sauces.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
20 - 25 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, quartered
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
freshly grated pepper
1 T tomato paste
1 T balsamic vinegar
10 fresh basil leaves
1 t dried oregano
Preheat oven to 275 F.
Put the tomato halves, onion quarters & garlic on a baking sheet with sides. Drizzle with a little olive oil & stir making sure everything is coated. Turn tomatoes cut side up. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are soft & the onions & garlic are golden about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly.
Put the roasted vegetables & all remaining ingredients into a blender. Process until everything is chopped fine. Check for seasoning.
Makes about 2 cups.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski