Mushroom and Pea Farrotto

The holidays have come and gone, and now it’s all about hunkering down for the long winter stretch! After some very mild temps in Chicago we are bracing for our coldest day of the season this Sunday! A warm and cozy meal felt very appropriate for the arctic blast headed our way. This Mushroom and Pea Farrotto is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe I discovered on her ‘Giada in Italy’ series. It’s essentially a risotto, but instead of using arborio rice you use farro. Farro is one of my favorite grains as it’s much more hearty than rice and has a nice chewy texture. The star ingredient in this dish is the mushrooms so go ahead and splurge on a nice medley of mushrooms…cremini, oyster, or baby bella. The mushroom risotto is elevated with a sprinkle of bright peas and lots of delicious cheese – a combination of both parmesan and pecorino. The cheeses bring out the earthiness of the mushrooms and it makes everything melt together for a perfect spoonful that captures all of the flavors in one bite! Just be ready to practice some patience – risotto cannot be rushed and you’ll need to take the time to add one ladle of broth at a time and slowly stir. Don’t worry, it’s worth the wait! 

Mushroom and Pea Farrotto
Serves 4
An earthy mushroom risotto which swaps farro for the arborio rice. Fresh peas and parmesan cheese are added into this dish and it's finished with fresh herbs on top.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 10 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 10 ounces mushrooms (cremini, oyster, baby bella), sliced
  3. 2 leeks, green parts and roots removed, halved lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
  4. 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 cup farro, rinsed
  7. 1 cup dry white wine
  8. 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  9. 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  10. 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  11. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  12. 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
Instructions
  1. Heat a 3 1/2-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and all of the water cooks out, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the leeks to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the leeks, stirring often, until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook 1 more minute. Add the farro to the pan and stir to coat the grains in the oil and toast slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze with the wine and stir.
  3. Cook the farro, stirring occasionally, until the wine evaporates almost completely, about 8 minutes. Add the broth in 1-cup increments, cooking until the liquid almost completely evaporates before adding the next increment; this will take about 45 minutes to complete. Remember to stir often to create a creamy texture.
  4. When the farro is tender and absorbs almost all of the liquid, stir in the mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano and butter. Continue to stir until the butter is melted in and the mixture is creamy. Stir in the peas at the last minute and serve.
Notes
  1. I finished this dish with chopped thyme leaves on top to garnish and add some bright green color.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis - Giada in Italy
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis - Giada in Italy
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