1small shallotfinely diced (or 1/2 small yellow onion)
1/4teaspoonground black pepper
1 1/2cupsBob’s Red Mill Organic Farrorinsed and drained
4cupslow-sodium vegetable brothdivided (or use chicken broth if you do not need the farro risotto to be vegetarian)
1(14-ounce) can no-salt-added petite diced tomatoesor 1 pound grated fresh tomatoes
1pintcherry or grape tomatoeshalved
1/4cupgrated Parmesan cheeseplus additional for serving
1tablespoonchopped fresh thyme
Chopped fresh basiloptional
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Watch the heat and adjust as needed so that the shallot cooks but does not turn crispy and brown. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper. Let cook just until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the farro, increase the heat to medium, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to coat the farro in the butter. The farro should begin to toast and the pan will be mostly dry.
Add 3/4 cup of the broth and increase the heat to medium high. Stir until it is absorbed. Add remaining broth and the diced tomatoes in their juices (reserve the last 1 cup of broth for later).
Give the pot a big stir and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the mixture vigorously every 15 minutes as it cooks, adding more broth if it becomes dry at any point.
After the farro has been simmering 30 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 15 to 20 additional minutes, or until the farro is tender throughout but maintains a good chew in the center (al dente), stirring it more frequently as the end of the cooking times nears. If the risotto becomes dry at any point, splash in a bit more vegetable broth or water.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the sugar, Parmesan, and thyme. Cover the pot and let rest 5 minutes. (During this time, the farro will release additional starches and become more creamy.) Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve warm, topped with a sprinkle of fresh basil, additional thyme, and Parmesan.