TORTA SALATA DI FARRO – Savory Farro and Cheese Pie

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Cooked farro can be substituted for wheat berries in the traditional sweet ricotta Easter pie, Pastiera, or used in this traditional savory cheese pie from Lucca. This makes a very nice lunch served with a salad.

Ingredients
  • 1  1/3 C.  farro berries/grain (10 oz.)
  • 1  1/2 lb.  fresh ricotta - drained (place in a cheese cloth lined sieve over a bowl, overnight)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 C.  grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt & pepper to taste
  • one 9-inch springform pan, buttered, and coated with bread crumbs

Instructions:

Rinse the farro in cool water, picking out impurities such as chaff, pebbles or bad grains, and soak the berries in cold water to cover for at least 8 hours. Farro will keep in this soaked state in the refrigerator for a few days. Drain the farro berries, and place them in a sieve to rinse under tepid running water.  Combine the farro with 2 2/3 C water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for up to one hour or until the grains are tender, but still a bit chewy. If the farrow has cooked to your taste and there is still liquid in the pot, drain the farrow from the liquid. Keep in mind that farro will continue to absorb liquid and soften once it is cooked. Let it rest and cool after cooking, for about an hour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the farro with the ricotta, eggs, Parmigiano, parsley and nutmeg. Season to taste with S & P.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 40 -50 min until golden on top and the filling is set. Cool on a rack, unmold and serve warm or room temperature.