This farrotto with mushrooms and peas is like a healthier alternative to risotto. Farro is a versatile Italian grain that looks and tastes similar to brown rice, but is way more nutritious. It has a mild nutty flavor, which works great with the vegetables and cheese in this dish. (To keep it vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead of chicken.) The earthy mushrooms and rich, umami flavor from both pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese make it hearty and satisfying.
I won’t lie, this is a hands-on dish, but the final product is totally worth it! It takes about an hour to come together with frequent stirring. But that’s how you get the delicate, creamy texture that you want. To make it a full meal, I recommend serving this with something a little lighter, like my simple Italian salad or a vegetable side dish.
Mushroom and Pea Farrotto
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- 10 ounces creminis or mixed mushrooms sliced
- 2 leeks green and root trimmed, sliced lengthwise, cut into half moons and washed
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup farro rinsed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup frozen peas thawed
- As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 11. Sunday Supper.
- Heat a 3 1/2 qt pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat another 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they golden brown and all of the water has cooked out. Remove the mushrooms to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the leeks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the leeks, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook an additional minute. Reduce the heat to medium and add the farro to the pan and stir to coat the grains in the oil and toast slightly. This will take another 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and stir.
- Cook the farro, stirring occasionally, until the white is almost completely gone. This will take about 8 minutes. Continue doing this with the broth, adding in 1 cup increments and cooking down until almost gone. Remember to stir often to help create a creamy texture. This will take about 45 minutes to complete.
- When the farro is tender and almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the mushrooms, pecorino, parmesan and butter. Continue to stir until the butter is melted in and the mixture is creamy. Stir in the peas at the last minute and serve.