Butternut Squash Farrotto With Montasio

I wore boots and a sweater yesterday.  That’s kind of a happy/sad thing for me, because I’m actually more of a shorts and sandals kind of a girl, but I really, really love my boots and sweaters, and it’s always kind of fun to pull them out and try them on again.  Oh, and my jeans.  I always hold my breath the first time I put those on for the season.  They still fit 🙂  even with all of the cooking I’ve been doing for this blog!  So I’m happy to wear some of my old favorites again, but sad because I know I’ll be in them for a very long time and by next May, I’ll be wanting to burn them.

Sweater weather is also comfort food weather, and my all-time favorite comfort food is risotto.  It’s one of those warm, creamy, delicious foods that just wraps you up and keeps you warm.  Traditionally, risotto is made with Arborio rice – an Italian, super starchy rice.  It gives risotto it creaminess without actually having to add any cream.  As much as I love Arborio rice, I’ve been searching for a healthier substitute -something with a lower glycemic index, and more fiber, and I’m happy to say I found it in Farro, which is a whole grain often used in Italy.  Whereas Arborio (or most white rice) has no fiber, and only about 3 grams of protein, Farro has 7 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein in a comparable ¼ cup (dry) serving. Farro is also much lower on the glycemic index scale than rice, which means it won’t raise your blood sugar as quickly.   SOLD!!


[box] Tip! Make sure you buy regular Farro vs "pearled" Farro, which is not considered a whole grain.[/box]

Farro risotto involves a slightly different cooking method than traditional risotto because the farro is prepared ahead of time and cooked al dente, and then combined with the other ingredients.  I found it to be much faster and easier than regular risotto which requires lots of attention and stirring time at the stove.

Butternut Squash Farrotto with Montasio|Craving Something Healthy

This recipe for Butternut Squash “Farrotto” not only gave me a chance to try out Farro risotto, but it also gave me a chance to play with a wonderful imported Italian cheese I’ve been testing for a recipe contest.  Montasio is a lovely substitute for the Parmesan usually used in risotto, because it has a more mellow, slightly sweet and spicy flavor, which I found complements the ingredients in this dish perfectly.  If you have the cheese rind, do add it because it really gives this dish a nice complex flavor.  Butternut Squash Farrotto is sweet, savory, creamy, rich, and warm all at the same time.  Tell me that's not comfort food!

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Legends From Europe and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time and all opinions expressed are my own.


Butternut Squash Farrotto with Montasio|Craving Something Healthy

Butternut Squash Farrotto With Montasio

A hearty fall meal that's a whole grain twist on risotto
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 351kcal


  • 2 cups farro
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups ¾-inch cubes of butternut squash
  • 1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 medium shallots chopped
  • 3 slices bacon lightly cooked and drained of fat
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon dry sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup grated Montasio cheese + 1 rind approx 2 inches x 1 inch
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • Soak the farro in water for 30 minutes. Drain.
  • Cook farro in chicken broth just until slightly tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving any excess broth.
  • In a large saute pan, melt butter and 1 Tbs olive oil. Add butternut squash, and sprinkle with brown sugar, nutmeg and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook squash for 10-15 minutes until softened and brown in spots. Transfer cooked squash to a plate to cool.
  • Add additional Tbs olive oil to the sauté pan, along with shallots and bacon. Cook on medium until shallots are softened and bacon is crisp.
  • Add wine, and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and add precooked farro to the shallots and bacon and stir to combine.
  • Add dry sage, thyme and rosemary sprigs, and Montasio rind.
  • Simmer farro on low, stirring occasionally and adding additional broth one ladle at a time, as needed.
  • When farro is tender, remove rind, and herb sprigs. Add cooked butternut squash and stir to heat it through.
  • Stir in ½ cup Montasio, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • If desired, serve with additional fresh grated Montasio on top.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7520IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

Have you ever tried Farro?  Or Montasio?

Eat well!

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