I had planned on going to the market last night and picking up some pork chops to grill, but the day got away from me – as did my motivation to drive anywhere. I was still craving meat and I remembered a spicy sausage that I had stowed away in the freezer a couple weeks ago. I also had some Campari tomatoes that only had a few days left in them before they started to get too soft, and some leftover kale that was beginning to look wilty. This may sound unappetizing, but it all came together deliciously with some garlic, shallots and of course, farro.
Spicy Farro with Tomatoes and Sausage (serves 2-4)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 large spicy sausage, casing removed
- 8 Campari tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 2-3 TB tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup farro
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed
- 1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese and basil, for garnish
In a large, deep skillet heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Once hot, add garlic and smash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add red pepper flakes and shallots and saute for three minutes over medium heat. Add the sausage and saute until browned – about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook over medium-low heat until the liquids begin to release – about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, adding water by the 1/2 cup full every 10 minutes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste each time you add the water to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and taste to adjust. Partially cover the skillet and continue to simmer.
While the skillet is partially covered, add 2 cups of water and farro in another pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, or until al dente. There should be a little water left in the pot, but just add the farro with the remaining water to the skillet with the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Increase the heat only slightly and continue to cook uncovered.
In the same pot that the farro was cooked in, boil 2 more cups of water. Add kale and par-boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the pot with tongs and chop into smaller pieces. Add to the skillet and stir to combine. Serve immediately in shallow pasta bowls with Parmesan and basil.
I was a Sober Sally last night, but if I were going to serve this with wine I would pour some Chianti. This light Tuscan wine would pair well with the spicy Italian flavors in the dish, and bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes. I’m looking forward to tasting some Chianti directly from the source when I visit Tuscany this summer!