There are a limited number of tickets left for the 13th annual A Wine & Food Affair this weekend.  The food-and-wine pairing event  at wineries in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River valleys costs $70 online  and includes a beautiful cookbook including all the   dishes being served up at the wineries and lodgings. (wineroad.com)   

    Since the wineries have to feed an expected crowd of 3,000 people, most of the  recipes are ideal for your fall entertaining needs, when you’re gathered around the TV to watch a favorite football team, or just hanging out in the back yard enjoying brunch with friends.

Here’s a recipe for a hearty Harvest Ribollita with Farro & Olio Nuovo from chef/owner Colleeen McGlynn of DaVero Winery in the Dry Creek Valley.  “The ingredients are not set in stone,” McGlynn writes in the cookbook. “Cubes of winter squash are a great addition to this recipe.” Pair it with the DaVero Rosso di Bea. 

Harvest Ribollita with Farro & Olio Nuovo

Serves 6 to 8

2 cups dried white beans

1 cup faro

Ham bone, bacon rind, 4 ounces slab bacon (cubed) or pork shin bone

2 or 3 dried chiles

1 onion, diced

4 peeled garlic cloves, minced

1 branch fresh rosemary, leaves chopped

Several sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

5 sage leaves, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

 4 ribs celery, sliced

2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced

1 bunch kale, broccoli rabe or chard, cut into ribbons

8 ounces plum tomatoes, chopped

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

Kosher salt and pepper

DaVero Olive oil

Parmesan cheese for finishing

Cover the beans with several inches of water and let them soak overnight. Drain the beans the next morning.

If you are using whole faro, soak the grain overnight and proceed with the recipe. If you are using “perlato” – semi-pearled or hulled faro – it requires no pre-soaking.

Put the soaked beans in a large pot and cover with fresh water to several inches above the surface. Add the meat and dried chiles. Cook for about 1 hour, until the beans start to soften. Skim off any foam.

Saute the onion, garlic and herbs over a low flame until they’re soft. Add them and the remaining vegetables, along with the faro, to the pot of beans. Add a good pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer gently for another 30 to 45 minutes, until everything has softened; occasionally skim off any foam and discard it. If the soup becomes too thick, add hot water as needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Discard the bones and rinds, if used.

Serve in a bowl with a swirl of new olive oil and a grating of Parmesan, with grilled bread alongside.