If you haven’t been to Deb Perelman’s now-famous blog, Smitten Kitchen, you’ve been missing out. Deb lives in Manhattan and develops her recipes in a minuscule New York City apartment kitchen. She is not a trained chef, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a foodie superstar. Her first cookbook is a best-seller on Amazon.
I’ve come to rely on Deb’s recipes — although she’s a home-cook, she knows exactly what she’s doing and she has a well-honed instinct for what will work and what won’t. Not all of her recipes are healthy but many of them, like this farro dish, are downright virtuous.
She writes that the idea came from a Martha Stewart recipe for one-pan pasta, which she made and only sort-of liked. The pasta was soft, she said, and the sauce was a bit gummy, probably from the starch in the pasta.
But Deb managed to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by substituting farro* for the linguine. As I said, I trust her implicitly so I made it with no qualms, and needless to say, it was a hit. Delicious. Decadent tasting but low in fat and calories. And so easy — it calls for only one pan and ingredients that I generally have on-hand.
While this recipe serves 4, there are only two of us at home now so we’ll have leftovers for tomorrow. I’ll add more basil and Parmesan and maybe some fresh tomatoes.**
1 cup semi-pearled farro*
2 cups water
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
9 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
Grated Parmesan cheese
Place farro and water into a medium saucepan. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes and one Tbsp. olive oil and bring to a boil uncovered. Gently simmer without a lid, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until farro is tender. The cooking water should be almost completely absorbed.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
*Farro is a variety of wheat. Semi-pearled farro is the most widely available, and it can be found at many supermarkets or at Whole Foods Market. I got my first bag of farro at Costco, which shows you how universally available it has become!
**Next-Night Note: I sauteed some quartered grape tomatoes in one tsp. of olive oil and then re-heated the farro in the same pan. Better than ever. Leftovers rock!
WW PP Per serving: 6