Torta Salata Di Farro - Savory Farro Pie

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A traditional dish of the hills around Lucca. It calls for cracked farro, which cooks faster. I first heard of farro from Giada De Laurentiis, who made a salad from it (a recipe which I've posted). Farro is similar to wheat berries.

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  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F (180 C).
  2. Prepare the farro: Wash it well, picking out impurities such as bits of chaff, pebbles, or bad grains. In a medium saucepan, combine the farro with about 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt, then turn heat to high and bring it all to a boil.
  3. When it has come to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium low, cover, and let simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, drain mixture well, then pour it all into a large ceramic or porcelain bowl and set aside to let cool.
  5. When cooled, combine it with the remaining ingredients except the butter and the bread crumbs.
  6. Use the butter and bread crumbs to lightly grease and coat a 9-inch pan, pour the farro mixture into it, and bake it in a 370 F (180C) oven for about 40 minutes.
  7. This will work well as a second course, with a tossed salad.
  8. Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' method of cooking farro and from a recipe in Luciano Migliolli's "Il Farro e le sue Ricette." Farro: Grain of the Legions Grano Farro has a long and glorious history - it is the original grain from which all others derive, and fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years; somewhat more recently it was the standard ration of the Roman Legions that expanded throughout the Western World. Ground into a paste and cooked, it was also the primary ingredient in plus, the polenta eaten for centuries by the Roman poor.
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4 5

What a fun recipe for this wonderful Ash Wednesday. I only had 8 oz (1 cup of Farro) and good thing I did, as the filling was almost too much for my pie plate! Note that I used normal Farro and not cracked, followed the cooking instructions and it was a bit mushy in the end so beware if you use cracked Farro! I also subbed asiago for the parm with great results. I threw in about 1/4 cup fresh chopped spinach (another great addition), nixed the nutmeg (not a fan) and subbed the salt/pepper for some Greek seasoning. Next time I will definitely use 4 eggs, as it completely crumbled apart on our plates. . .thinking the extra egg would hold it together.