This super comforting and delicious take on classic risotto uses farro (a wheat grain) instead of arborio rice which makes it much more substantial, nutty, and perfectly al dente in texture. It is laced with butternut squash and sauteed wild chanterelle mushrooms and then finished with parmesan and a bit of mascarpone. I used chicken stock but you could use vegetable stock if you wanted to make it a vegetarian-friendly dish. You can also substitute other mushrooms, like shiitakes, if chanterelles are hard to come by.
Butternut Squash & Wild Chanterelle Farro Risotto
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 lb chanterelles (or shitakes or a mix), diced
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into small (1/2 inch) cubes
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
1 1/2 cups farro
1/2 cup white wine or cooking sherry
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 quart chicken stock
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
2 Tbsp mascarpone
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a dutch oven pan and add onion and shallots. Saute until translucent.
2. Add squash into another saucepan with chicken stock and bring up to simmer
3. Add mushrooms and thyme to sauteed onion and shallot and cook until mushrooms are starting to brown up a bit, then add garlic and cook for one more minute. Next, add wine or sherry and reduce until almost completely dry.
4. Then add farro to pan along with a ladle of warm stock and squash mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir. Each time the liquid is almost all gone, add more. Keep doing so until you are out of stock.
5. Turn heat down to a simmer and add in the mascarpone and butter. Finish by adding in the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with kosher salt and cracked pepper.