When a heat wave hits, the idea of eating a hot pasta is not the most appealing- that's why I tend to make cold pasta dishes that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to hit the patio or garden in the evening (just remember to pull it out 30 min prior to dinner).
During such a cold winter it’s all but natural to turn to earthy, warm comfort food. This typical rustic Farinata (or porridge) is made with two key winter ingredients- polenta and black kale. It’s pure peasant food- thicker than a soup, it’s a full meal on its own.
Its name in the Lombard dialect means nutmeg: since ancient time this exotic ingredient, much appreciated in Lombardy, was used to flavour dishes prepared with the few ingredients that could be found in winter in farm houses .
Farro is an ancient grain that grows in inhospitable, mountain areas of Italy. Low in gluten and high in protein and fiber, it can be used instead of rice to make risotto (called “farrotto”) since, as rice, it absorbs whatever flavours you add to it.
In the coldest days of the year a hearty soup is all you need to uplift body and spirit. This one is simple and quick- for best results use dried porcini mushrooms: I really like their smell and taste of alpine woods!