Usually, as Thanksgiving approaches, we have already seen the first, second or eighth snow fall of the season. This year, however, many recent days in New York have felt as though fall has just begun. On the occasional evening when the temperature does drop below 60, having a quick, hearty meal in your back pocket is the perfect way to warm yourself back up.
Farro, while not gluten free, has significantly less gluten than wheat, which makes it a great substitute to pasta for those of us who are trying to watch their gluten intake. Farro is easy to make and will fill you up without leaving you hungry an hour later.
Farro with Tomato Sauce, Tuna, Cherry Tomatoes & Niçoise Olives
Serving Size: 2
Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 2 medium sauce pans (one with a well fitting lid)
- 1 wooden spoon
- a cutting board
- a sharp knife
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- about 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 jar tuna packed in olive oil
- 10-15 niçoise olives, pitted
- 10 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 basil leaves, chiffonade
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat about 1 tbs olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the dry farro and cook, stirring occasionally until the farro smells toasted and fragrant, but not burnt. Add 1 ½ cups water and pinch of salt to the farro and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes. Unlike rice, farro doesn’t have to absorb all of the water that you’re cooking it in. Once 10 minutes are up, taste the farro. It should be soft, but not mushy. If there is any water left at the bottom of the pan, strain it like you would pasta and let the water drain out until you’re ready to serve it.
Meanwhile, while the farro is cooking, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in your second saucepan. Add the garlic and shallow and sweat* until the shallots are translucent and have lost their punch, about 5 minutes. If your heat is too high, the garlic will burn and become bitter. Once translucent, turn the heat to high and add the wine. Allow the wine to boil until it has reduced by ¾. Add the crushed tomatoes and balsamic and simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt.
To serve, place farro in the bottom of a bowl and cover with a large serving of tomato sauce. Top with tuna, straight from the jar, and garnish with olives, tomato slices and basil. Enjoy!
*Sweating is a cooking term used to refer to cooking vegetables over a low heat so that they slowly release water.