A few weeks ago we were having vegetarian friends over for dinner and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use some of the amazing, delicious Rancho Gordo beans I had recently ordered. I had a recipe for black bean burgers that looked good, so I threw the beans in a pot to soak and headed out to find the other ingredients. Alas, neither the regular grocery store, specialty spice store, health food store OR Whole Foods carried farro. Defeated, I returned home to google alternatives. And that's where I learned that farro = spelt and realized that, duh, I have spelt in my pantry. I prepared it according to the instructions (it's from Trader Joe's, FYI) and used about half in the burgers. The other half went in the freezer.
Now, those burgers were good, but they are not the subject of this post. In the current issue of Men's Health (yummy Ewan McGregor on the cover, although the article about him is hella boring), which we're getting because we did the Broad Street Run and will cancel as soon as we have to pay for it, is an article about farro/spelt and how good it is for you. Apparently it's double the fiber and protein of brown rice. The recipe they suggested looked so good that I tried it out last night. I'd like to think that it's the kind of thing I would have come up with on my own some day, because it's simple and uses some of my favorite tricks (delectable red gravy, a poached egg over grains). And I'd like to think that my version tastes better than the original chef's version because of my South Philly Gravy. And I'd like to be a size 2 and dating Robert Pattinson. In any case, here's the gist of the dish:
You make gravy. (For you non-Philadelphia, non Italians out there, that's marinara sauce. I make mine by sauteeing onions, garlic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes in olive oil, then pouring a can of crushed tomatoes in, adding salt, sugar, red wine, and anchovies. Sometimes I don't have the fresh basil, or wine I'm willing to use in a recipe, or anchovies. Work with what you've got.)
You take some cooked felt/sparro. (HAHA, I mean FARRO/SPELT).
Stir them together in the gravy pot.
Crack an egg (or two or three) over the dish, cover, and simmer until the egg is poached. (This part didn't work too well for me when I made the dish for dinner last night. It may be because my lid doesn't quite fit on my pan, but it took so long for the whites to firm up that the yolk was firm, too. When I reheated the spelt/gravy mixture for lunch today, I poached an egg separately and then set it on top. Ymmy gooey drippy egg yolk.)
See? Simple! Easy! And in moderate portions, quite healthy and nutritious.