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A Little Taste Of Italy at Your Home.

  • Jan 25, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

Well, it looks like my wife is going to Tuscany Italy for a week and she just wanted to try and get into the mood and get a taste of the authentic Italian Cuisine that they have over there. She did not know where to start, so she went to the only person that was as authentic as an Italian that we knew. That was Joe Scalzo, the owner of “Ciao Bella”, he was very glad that and honored that we would think of him and his establishment when it came to making our first authentic Italian dinner. One of the dishes that she chose was a soup called; Zuppa Toscana della Nonna Tina and one of the important ingredients that this called for was “Farro” and we had no idea where to start to look for it. Joe Scalzo told us to go to a place called Derosa Imports to find Farro. This bag of Farro is not cheap; it will run you approximately four for a small bag.

Description
You probably will not find this at any regular grocery store, but you can find this at an import food store. It will come in a small clear bag which weighs in at 17.63 ounces. Inside of the bag you will see small grains, that look like brown rice and is just as hard. This product is tan in color and has no real odor to speak off, and it looks a little bit like a skinny piece of barley. When you cook this and add it to the soup, that is when you will smell some kind of odor. But, this is a pleasant odor that will make you hunger for the soup to get done.

Ingredients
Extra-virgin oil, one medium onion (chopped), two cups of cannellini beans (cooked, or you can just use white kidney beans), two stalks of chopped celery, three medium diced carrots, ½ of savoy cabbage chopped onto small pieces, one medium chopped leek, two minced garlic cloves, two vegetables bullion cubes, water, salt (just enough to taste), handful of fresh parsley, one to two tablespoons of chopped basil, and one cup of either cooked or uncooked Farro.

Experience
If you have never have heard of Farro that would not be surprising because it is not grown here in the US. It is originally from Itally and it is itiallian for “Emmer Wheat”, this is basically in the wheat family. This is supposed to be the oldest form of wheat known to man, but this can get confused with a grain called “Spelt”. Farro is more plump and fatter than Spelt. One of the main things that this is used in is soups, but you can get creative and use it inside of a stew or in place of rice or vice versa.

If you want you can cook this just like rice but if you want to have this grain to be able to be digested a lot smoother then let it soak in water for 24 hours and this will help with your digestive system. The less that you cook Farro the more chewy that it will be, and harder to digest. This will also cause your body to be a little bit on the gassy side if not cooked long enough. It will usually only take 30 minutes to cook Farro if you do not have time to let it soak overnight.

Before you put this into your soup you will need to cook it first and to do that you just have to take about one cup of Farro and add two to three cups of salt water and then bring it to a boil. Just like in rice you will need to let this simmer for 15 to 30 minutes and it depends on how you like it just like rice. If you let this soak overnight then it will take less time to cook and be nicer to your digestive system and be a lot plumper. Once you have cooked the Farro then you can even use a large pot and cover the bottom of the pot with virgin oil and sauté to help make it tender. After this is done you can add all of the other ingredients and vegetables to your liking. I like a lot of vegetables for that lighter taste. The more beans that you add will thicken the whole mixture.

Once you have cooked all of the vegetables that is when you can add the Farro, this soup can be eaten with or without the Farro. But, by using the Farro, this gives your soup that Itallian feeling and it tastes delicious.

Conclusion
I really do not know if we did it the way it was supposed to be done, but this tasted as Italian as it was going to get. Thanks to Joe Scalzo from “Ciao Bella” he directed us where to find this wheat for our soup. So if you want to have that Italian feeling and taste during your dinner then add Farro to your soups and stews.

Recommended:
Yes


A Little Taste Of Italy at Your Home.

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January 25, 2010
Mmmmm, I love Italian cuisine, so thanks for sharing this recipe and for all the tips!  Considering how tiny farro is, I'm really surprised to hear that it takes about 30 minutes to cook when other dried pastas that I cook take about half the time.  I'll remember to soak these babies overnight! :)
 
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About this food

Wiki

Poggio del Farro grows farro under strict organic conditions. After hand harvesting is complete, the grain is pearled (semi-hulled) and packed at the farm. High in anti-oxidants and vitamins, this is a perfect alternative when you want something with texture.
Product Features
  • Certified Organic - Low Gluten Content
  • Farro is unhybridized, pure wheat, with the husk intact. Perlato (pearled) is semi-hulled, giving the grain a smoother texture.
  • The nutty flavor and firm texture makes it perfect for side dishes at any meal.
  • A healthy alternative to barley, oat meal, and cous cous.
  • Grown, and packed in Madonna di Lugo, Spoleto, Italy
Soure: Amazon
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