Pumpkin “Farrotto” with Hazelnuts and Sage | Wine Enthusiast
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Pumpkin “Farrotto” with Hazelnuts and Sage

Recipe courtesy Walter Edward, chef, Tallulah’s, Seattle

Edward’s simple technique of mixing cooked grains with a pumpkin purée yields a hearty and impressively risotto-like dish.


1 medium pumpkin (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup water
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups farro
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
12 leaves sage, fried in oil until crisp (or just coarsely chopped)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the pumpkin with oil, brown sugar and salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned. Meanwhile, put the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat just until it starts to brown and smell nutty. Set the butter aside, rewarming over low heat if it starts to solidify.

While the pumpkin is roasting, bring the stock, cloves and cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the farro, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.

Put two-thirds of the cooked pumpkin in a blender with the lemon juice and water. Slowly drizzle in the brown butter while blending.

To serve, mix the pumpkin with the farro over low heat and stir until well mixed and creamy looking, then adjust sugar, salt and lemon juice to taste. Add hot water or stock if the farrotto seems too thick. Spoon into piles onto plates or a serving platter. Shake the plate until the mixture spreads evenly across, and top it with the reserved pumpkin, hazelnuts and sage. Serves 6.

Pair It

“The 2009 Domaine Dominique Guyon Bourgogne, Hautes Côtes de Nuits, Les Dames de Vergy pairs well with the rich creamy texture of pumpkin and the earthy tones of farro,” says Myles Burroughs, beverage director at Tallulah’s. “Its warm toasted notes pop with the addition of toasted hazelnuts, and the hint of brown sugar in the pumpkin adds another layer of flavor to the mid-palate, leaving a velvety finish with the savory crispy sage leaves.”

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