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4.34 from 6 votes

Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage Gremolata  

Servings: 4


  • 6 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth, as needed
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and ¾-inch diced (1½ to 2 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • cup walnuts, chopped
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove or ½ large clove
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
  • cups pearled farro
  • cup + 1 tablespoon dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, divided
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan.
  • Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until tender and lightly caramelized. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Heat a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and when the oil is hot (it should be almost shimmering on the surface), add the sage and walnuts. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until the sage leaves are crisp and the walnuts are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Using a Microplane grater, zest the lemon and grate the garlic clove over the sage and walnuts, add ¼ teaspoon salt, and mix well. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the butter to theDutch oven and melt over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat until tender but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the farro and cook for 2 minutes to toast the grains lightly, stirring often. Add the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add about 3 cups of the simmering broth to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has almost entirely evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  • Add about 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is almost absorbed. Continue cooking, adding broth in ½ cup increments and stirring often, until the farro is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the roasted butternut squash, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook until heated through, smashing some of the squash with the side of a wooden spoon. Add a splash of broth if the risotto seems dry at this point.
  • Off the heat, stir in the Pecorino and remaining tablespoon of wine. You may need to add additional broth at this point, too; the farro will continue to thicken as it sits. Taste for seasonings, then serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with the gremolata.
    Note: Look for pearled farro for this recipe; whole-grain farro will take much longer to cook.
    Copyright 2020, Lidey Heuck, All Rights Reserved