BRETT CORRIERI / MafiaoZA’s
Serves 6 as an appetizer
Add cooked, pulled chicken to make this a heartier appetizer or entree.
1 butternut squash, small
1 pumpkin, small
2 ounces olive oil
*1 pound farro (You can substitute any medium-short grained rice for the farro, such as Abborio or Carnaroli (Italian) or Bomba (Spanish). You may use less stock, depending on the rice).
3 ounces olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
64 ounces chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
6 leaves sage
2 ounces parmiggiano reggiano, finely grated
6 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350.
Half the squash and scoop out the seeds. Repeat with the pumpkin.
(If you want to toast the seeds for a garnish or for snacking, instructions are below).
Brush the exposed areas of the pumpkin and the butternut squash with the olive oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Salt the top to draw moisture. Bake until fork tender (about an hour). Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Using a towel folded over a couple of times, hold the pumpkin steady and carefully scoop out the flesh with a large spoon. Repeat with the squash.
Mash them together keeping some good texture (the size of hazelnuts).
Heat stock to boiling in large stock pot.
In a large (10 inch or larger) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until not quite browned. Add the thyme and sage leaves, whole. Add the farro and toss or stir to coat with the oil (this starts the cooking process so be sure to coat thoroughly). Add stock by the ladle full to just cover the farro and then add 2 cups of the hot stock and the pumpkin/squash mixture. Farro cooks just like risotto. When the stock has cooked down to below the level of the farro, add more stock. Cook until desired doneness. I like mine to have a little 'tooth', al dente, about 20 minutes. When done to your liking, remove the thyme sprig and the sage leaves. Taste for salt level here and adjust, but remember the cheese will add saltiness, too.
Transfer to 6 small bowls or plates that have been warming in a 250 degree oven. Garnish with the cheese and top with an egg yolk. The guests will mix them in on their own and it adds a nice richness. Be sure use pasteurized or farm fresh eggs.
Top with black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Clean and brine the seeds overnight for best results.
Bake them in a single layer on parchment at 400 till crunchy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Reserve for garnish or snacks.
Saving Egg Whites
To save the egg whites for later use, place them in an ice cube tray, one apiece, and freeze. When solid, remove from the tray and place in zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible and return to freezer. Thaw in refrigerator to use.