Traditional Italian lamb sausage and chewy farro with sweet figs and pecorino combine with herbs to make an untraditional dish.
I love using traditional Italian ingredients in nontraditional ways. Between the dried figs and farro I had in my pantry, and the lamb sausage I discovered at my local Italian specialty shop, I became inspired. The chewy farro, sweet figs and crisp sausage work harmoniously in this dish. The pecorino really helps bring everything together and adds a nice, salty bite. The nuts and herbs make it even better.
- 1 cup semi-pearled farro*
- ¼ C dried mission figs, roughly chopped
- 1T extra virgin olive oil
- 8oz Italian lamb or pork sausage, or seasoned, ground lamb**
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- ¼ C dry white wine or chicken broth
- ¼ C Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- ¼ C toasted, salted hazelnuts, chopped or toasted pine nuts
- ¼ C parsley, chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook about 15 minutes or until al dente. During the last 1-2 minutes, add in figs to plump them up. Drain, reserving a cup of cooking water.
- Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Remove sausage from casing and add to pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 6-8 minutes or until well-browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl, reserving oil in pan.
- Add onion to pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and thyme, and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Pour in wine or broth, increase heat to high and reduce until mostly evaporated. Stir in farro, lamb, figs and a few tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Reheat ingredients over medium-high heat. Stir in cheese, taste for seasoning, and transfer to a serving dish when most of the excess liquid is absorbed. Stir in nuts and parsley. Serve with cheese, and enjoy.
**The lamb sausage I used was flavored with paprika, parsley, garlic and pecorino cheese. Seeing as the dish already contains parsley, garlic and pecorino, if you want to use ground lamb, I suggest seasoning it simply with salt, pepper and paprika.