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

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Servings: 8 cups - 6 servings
Author: Craving Something Healthy


  • 2 cups farro
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 cups 3/4-inch cubes of butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 large shallots chopped
  • 3 slices thick cut organic bacon lightly cooked and drained of fat
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 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 1/2 cup Montasio, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • If desired, serve with additional fresh grated Montasio on top.


Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Did you make this recipe?Tell me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

Have you ever tried Farro?  Or Montasio?

Eat well!

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