Roasted Pumpkin Farrotto with Toma Celena & Mushroom Conserva

When I think of classic fall ingredients, I think of pumpkin. And what better way to cook them then roast them and pair them with mushrooms foraged from the woods of the Hudson Valley? Now, you may be asking, “What is farrotto?” Farrotto is simply risotto made with an ancient grain called farro that hails from Italy instead of rice. Farro, also called emmer, is a whole grain, so it makes this recipe both healthy and hearty at the same time. Let’s dive in and get cooking!

Day 1: Prepare Mushroom Conserva & Roasted Pumpkin Puree

Mushroom Conserva

Prep Time:10 to 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes | Conserving Time:1 day | Special Equipment: Mason jar

Mushroom conserva is a fancy way of saying marinated mushrooms in vinaigrette. From spring to fall, the Hudson Valley is beaming with wild mushrooms. Conserving them at peak season allows you to enjoy them all year long. Always buy mushrooms from a local forager, such as James from Deep Forest Wild Edible if possible, as they have the knowledge and wisdom to know what is in season and when. This recipe uses chicken of the woods mushrooms. However, you can use almost any mushroom, including maitakes, chanterelles, morels, oyster mushrooms or even button mushrooms. It’s best to make this mushroom conserva at least one day in advance of serving.


  • 2 lbs. mushrooms of your choice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 pinch Piment d’Espelette (or chile flakes)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover mushrooms in the pot

Step by Step

  1. Clean the mushrooms and cut into bite-sized pieces
  2. Combine the oil, herbs and Piment d’Espelette in a large sauce pot with enough room for the mushrooms
  3. Heat the mixture to 170F degrees
  4. Add mushrooms and stir
  5. Bring the temperature back up to 170F degrees and cook for 5 more minutes
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar and salt
  7. Cover the pot with a lid and let steep for 45 minutes
  8. Next, transfer the mushrooms and liquid to a covered storage container
  9. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months as long as the mushrooms are fully submerged in the oil. If you need to add more oil to keep the mushrooms, go right ahead. The oil as a seal to keep the mushrooms under “conserva”.

Roasted Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time:20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 to 50 minutes | Oven Temperature: 400F degrees


  • 1 baking pumpkin, about 4 to 6 lbs.
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste

Step by Step

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Rinse and pat the pumpkin dry
  4. Cut the pumpkin from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough)
  5. Pull each half apart by cutting one side from the stem down to the bottom of the pumpkin. Remove the knife, rotate the pumpkin to the opposite side and repeat. The two halves should separate at the stem
  6. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits
  7. Lightly season the inside of the pumpkin halves with the melted butter
  8. Place the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet
  9. Bake until the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a knife and the flesh is pulling away from the skin, about 45 to 55 minutes
  10. Let cool until you can safely handle the pumpkin
  11. Then, scoop out the soft flesh into a food processor, working in batches if needed
  12. Process until very smooth, 3 to 5 minutes
  13. Let chill, then store in an airtight container overnight, or up to 1 week

Day 2: Make the Roasted Pumpkin Farrotto & Assemble the Dish

Roasted Pumpkin Farrotto

Prep Time:15 to 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes

Luckily for us in the Hudson Valley, we have the great Wild Hive Farm to provide locally grown farro. The heartiness of farro pairs well with the sweetness of pumpkin and nuttiness of Toma Celena from Cooperstown Cheese Company. You don’t need any bells and whistles, just a bowl for the farrotto and some friends and family to share the goodness.


  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup farro (about 7 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Toma Celena cheese from Cooperstown Cheese Company
  • 7 cups stock or broth (vegetable, chicken or garlic broth okay)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped onion if preferred)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Step by Step

  1. Season the stock well
  2. Put the stock or broth into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer on the stove, with a ladle nearby
  3. Heat oil in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat
  4. Add shallots or onion and cook gently until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes
  5. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  6. Add farro and stir over medium heat until grains dry out and begin to crackle
  7. Add wine and stir until the wine is no longer visible in the pan
  8. Stir in enough of the simmering stock or broth to just cover the farro. The stock should bubble slowly
  9. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is just about absorbed.
  10. Add another ladle or two of stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slow, adding more stock when the farro is almost dry, stirring, often, until the mixture is creamy and farro is tender, about 30 to 40 minutes
  11. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper
  12. Once the farro is tender or “al dente”, add the roasted pumpkin puree and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more
  13. Finally, remove from heat and add the Toma Celena cheese and butter
  14. Whip the mixture with a wooden spoon to emulsify until creamy
  15. Serve right away


Step by Step

  1. Place the roasted pumpkin farrotto in the center of each plate
  2. Pat the bottom of the plate to spread the farrotto evenly
  3. Sprinkle the mushroom conserva all over the roasted pumpkin farrotto
  4. Enjoy!