Farro “Risotto” with Acorn Squash, Peas and Ricotta Salata

Farro – an ancient grain – has a nutty flavor and a chewier consistency than Arborio rice. This method creates a creaminess to the dish similar to classic risotto. Pearled or semi-pearled varieties do not need overnight soaking and cook more quickly.
By / Photography By Alfredo Añez | July 01, 2015


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 25–30 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned. Set aside and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once heated, reduce to low heat to prevent from boiling, and cover.

In a large saucepan, heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add shallots and pepper; cook until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add farro and cook stirring frequently until grains become slightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Pour in the white wine. Continue stirring, until wine has evaporated.

Start adding broth, a ladle at a time, about 1/2 cup. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid has just about absorbed. Continue until farro is tender and all but 1/2 cup of the broth is left, about 25 minutes. Add peas and the last of the broth; continue to stir until the peas are cooked through and the liquid has evaporated. When farro is done, turn off the heat; add the parmesan cheese, parsley and squash. Season with salt and pepper. Pour risotto onto serving platter and garnish with ricotta salata. Serve immediately.

How to cut acorn squash

• Slice off top and bottom of the squash.
• Slice in half long ways.
• Scoop out seeds with a spoon.
• Cut either crosswise into slices or lengthwise into wedges.
• Remove skin with a peeler.
• Cut into pieces.
• Freeze any extra for another use.

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  • 2 cups acorn squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (from 1/2 medium squash, or 1 lb., trimmed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup farro, uncooked, rinsed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup peas, thawed (if frozen)
  • 1/3 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup shaved ricotta salata
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