One of my cooking rules: use what you have. Sure, there are times when I will run out to the store for a specific ingredient, but after a long week of work, I just want to get dinner on the table to join the boys for family fun, scouring the cupboards and making it work. Tonight I had farro in the cabinet, chicken-spinach-feta sausages in the fridge, roasted pumpkin from Belle, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and thyme from my High Ground Organics CSA box, and, well, I always have garlic and saffron.
Maybe I've read one too many Dr. Seuss books, but I dig alliteration. So, I decided to call this risotto-style dish Farro con Zucco e Zafferano. Farro with Pumpkin and Saffron.
I brought water to a boil, removed the pot from the flame, then dropped a few saffron threads to infuse for 10 minutes. Then I brought the saffron-infused water to a boil again and boiled the grains for 10 minutes. When I drained the farro I reserved the saffron cooking water.
In the meantime, I sliced and cooked the sausages with minced garlic. Then I added the carrots followed by the zucchini and summer squash. Finally I added the drained farro and cubed, cooked pumpkin. I poured in the saffron-cooking liquid till everything was covered and brought it to a boil. I covered the pot and reduced it to a simmer, cooking until all of the liquid was absorbed - about 20 minutes. Once the liquid was gone and the farro tender, I stirred in some marscarpone cream and seasoned with fresh, minced thyme, pink Himalaya salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Pronto al tavolo!