Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Shrimp Ragout | Baptist Health

As the executive chef and chief operations manager for Doctors Hospital, I am always trying to find a healthy approach to the classic foods we all grew up with and love. My goal is to make them nutritious, delicious and easy to prepare.

I often test my new recipes on the staff at Doctors Hospital and the general public who happen to be passing by the cafeteria on those special days. Recently, I created farro risotto with butternut squash and shrimp ragout ─ a new twist on an old favorite – rice.

I was pleased that everyone in the standing-room-only cafeteria was delighted.

Farro, part of a group of exotic grains, is a whole grain very much like rice that offers the best of both worlds ─ flavor and nutritional value.  Farro has a little bit of a bite, and if you prefer your rice a little softer, you can cook it a little longer.

Whole grains have major health benefits because research has shown that they:

  • Contain phytochemicals which act as protective agents against chronic diseases.
  • Lower cholesterol levels due to their higher soluble fiber content.
  • Assist with weight loss because higher fiber increases levels of satiety/fullness.
  • Lower the glycemic index and help control insulin resistance.
  • Lower blood pressure due to their higher potassium levels.

Watch the video; go to the grocery store; cook and enjoy! Bon Appétit!


Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash and Shrimp Ragout


  • 8 oz. farro (can be purchased at the grocery store)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half cream

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Ragout:

  • 2 ½ cups butternut squash, small ½” dice
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ red onion, small diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat oven to 400° and roast butternut squash until golden and crisp, approximately 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add farro and cook for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve.
  • Heat sauté pan; add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil,  sauté shrimp and shitake mushrooms and set aside.
  • Heat sauté pan and add remaining extra virgin olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until caramelized.
  • Add cooked farro and stir.
  • Add herbs.
  • Add wine and stock, 1 cup at a time stirring continuously with each addition.
  • After last addition, add butternut squash and shrimp ragout.
  • Fold in cheese and cream, season with salt and pepper to taste


Chef-Bob-Gilardi-Headshot-Final-203x300ABOUT CHEF BOB
Chef Bob Gilardi is the executive chef and chief operations manager at Doctors Hospital.  A well-renown chef, Chef Bob recently celebrated his 29th year with Baptist Health South Florida. Previously, he served as the executive sous chef at Hyatt Hotels and as the sauté and saucier cook at Chez Vendome French Restaurant in the David Wiliams Hotel in Coral Gables. Chef Bob graduated from Miami Dade College and Florida International University School of Hospitality Management.


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