- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-ounce pancetta, cut into lardons
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups water, plus more as needed
- 1 cup farro or whole wheat berries
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped escarole
- 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup finely chopped chicory
- 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
- 1 tablespoon Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish
In a stockpot large enough to hold all ingredients, heat oil over medium-high heat and add pancetta and onions. Cook until onion starts to brown, then add farro and stir to mix well. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and stir into the farro mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook very slowly, adding more boiling water from time to time as the grain begins to absorb the water.
When the kernels start to get tender, add the celery, escarole, zucchini, and chicory. Stir in the marjoram and tomato sauce, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until farro is very tender and serve immediately with grated cheese.
Basic Tomato Sauce:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
- Kosher salt
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is quite soft, about 5 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer until as thick as hot cereal, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Yield: 4 cups