1 shallot, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled or unpearled farro
3 cups chicken broth
Meatballs for 3 servings (about 1 lb)*
1 can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes
3-4 oz fresh basil, chiffonade
Big handful baby greens (e.g., arugula, spinach, red mustard frisée)
1-2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Slosh or three of the Zinfandel you're having for dinner
Sauté the shallot and all but one of the garlic cloves in a glug of olive oil over medium-low heat for a couple minutes until they soften. Add the farro and stir to coat. Cook for a minute or two, stirring occasionally, then add the broth (check the package to see how long your farro takes to cook...semi-pearled usually takes 20 minutes; unpearled takes 30. If it's unpearled, you might want to add an extra cup of water at this point because it will absorb more liquid). Drain the can of tomatoes (the juice, without the tomatoes themselves) into the pot, then cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until farro is tender (20-30 minutes or according to package directions). Drain excess liquid and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil, then add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned on all sides. Add the remaining smashed garlic clove and press into the oil, then add the tomatoes and wine and stir well. Sprinkle with salt and let some of the wine evaporate for a minute, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer until the meatballs are as cooked through as you want them to be (the time will depend on how big they are...mine were giant and they took about 15 minutes).
When the meatballs are done, add the farro to the pan and stir well. Add half the parmesan, most but not all of the basil, and the arugula. Toss together. Adjust salt to taste. Serve hot in soup plates or bowls: Farro mixture on the bottom, then sprinkle with parmesan, top with a meatball or three, sprinkle with basil chiffonade. Clink glasses. Consume merrily.
*My co-op has house-made meatballs from pastured beef that they call Best House Made Meatballs. It's the sort of name that makes you suspicious. Best? Really? Best ever? You sure? But then you buy them, and cook them, and eat them, and murmur dreamily about how very best they are. Anyway, that's not the point (unless you live near the Sacramento Co-op, in which case, this information is very pertinent for what I assume is your life goal of achieving everlasting meatball happiness.). The point is, get some high quality ground beef and make some particularly delicious meatballs, or take advantage of your meat counter if they're good at providing them ready-made.