The main portion of the dish was from Giada’s Italy. The dish was “Mushroom and Asparagus Farrotto”. I have had farro in multiple dishes at restaurants and have always had a love for it. After cooking it turns into this creamy delicious, hardy base for any dish. I have also had it in a warm beet salad once at a bar in San Francisco, which was my first introduction to the amazing grain. At first glance the recipe looks super involved and I often shy away from things that have too many ingredients, but Giada’s directions are straight forward. For me, I like to chop everything in a recipe first, and put all the ingredients in their own bowls so they are easy to add when appropriate (it also makes me feel like I am on a cooking show). I read through a recipe multiple times before to make sure I understand timing and can assure I will be ready when that “30 seconds of heat” is ready for its next ingredient. This was no exception.
First I saw the recipe calls for wine, so of course I poured myself a glass of the white wine first to ensure it was the quality that the recipe calls for and then set aside the rest for the dish. This was my second time working with leeks, and admittedly for some reason makes me feel fancy when I use them. I used vegetable broth from the box (Trader Joe’s obviously), although she notes you can use chicken or vegetable. I will admit this dish takes time. You are stirring and adding over almost an hour, so make sure that you put the 1 cup of white wine aside, because the rest of the bottle will be used for your own sanity during the hour of stirring and waiting. Also I would suggest doing a meat and cheese board prior to starting so everyone who watches you in the kitchen has something to eat, and you have something to soak up that white wine you are sipping for sanity.
I promise though at the end that this dish is worth the hour long cocktail hour that it affords! You will not be disappointed, except for the fact that the entire dish will get eaten and there will be no leftovers to cherish the next day. You can find this recipe in Giada’s Italy on page 178 or a similar recipe on her website.