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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

As Fall Approaches

Cheesy Baked Farro hot out of the oven.

Over the summer I saw Giada demonstrate this recipe for Cheesy Baked Farro on her Food Network program.  It was so hot and so not baked anything weather, that I promptly forgot all about it.  Now as the weather is starting to feel a little more fall-like, this recipe came back to mind.

As much as I love macaroni and cheese and all its cheesy baked cousins, I try not to indulge too often.  I like recipes like this one on a chilly evening when I really want something that will stick to my ribs (and, by extension, to my hips and thighs).   It's rich and comforting and so delicious.

This is a very easy recipe and is a little unusual in that it uses farro instead of the classic macaroni.  It's a nice turn on traditional macaroni and cheese.

So although it's not quite fall yet, file this recipe away and give it a try as the leaves start to change color.

Recipe:  Cheesy Baked Farro
(Giada De Laurentiis)


Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups warm whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups faro or barley, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

For the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and reserve. In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the faro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the top is golden brown and forms a crust, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. It's getting to be that time of year again when comfort food reins on the menu. What better way to welcome fall than with this dish of cheesey goodness!

    Thanks for sharing, Nadine...