This delightfully easy one-pot recipe is highly adaptable: use any tomato you like and any onion. Try shallots instead, extra garlic, a different herb. Add chevre or feta crumbles to serve, or Italian sausage, or grilled zucchini or fennel (or all of the above). It's charming enough to make you want to eat it again and again, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to find your favorite permutation.
The least flexible part of this recipe is the type of farro you use; it is designed for semi-pearled (30 minute cooking time) or pearled (15 or fewer minutes cooking time) farro, both of which can soften before the tomatoes are completely obliterated. If you use unpearled farro (1 hour+ cooking time), expect something akin to a red-sauce farro-risotto, delicious in its own right.
Serves 2 as a main dish
1 cup farro
1/2 large onion, cut in half (lengthwise) again and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
1 pint of red cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters (if you use slicing tomatoes: remove skins, then cut into chunks, about 1 1/2 cups total)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
5-10 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan cheese for serving
1. If using semi-pearled, place water and farro in a pan to pre-soak for 10 minutes. Put water, farro, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a medium saucepan and bring, uncovered, to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking, until the farro is tender and the liquid reduced to a sauce.
2. Plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, basil, and fresh pepper, or anything else you can dream up.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen