The first time I met Serena Wolf, she breezed into a party thrown by my publishing house in New York. I didn’t really know anyone; I’d just sold my first book, and I was surrounded by people who I’d idolized for years. Everyone seemed tall, and cool, and successful, and then Serena walked in, and she seemed the tallest, the coolest, the most successful. And then we started talking and while all of my judgements were affirmed—the lady went to Harvard, and then Le Cordon Bleu—but I also discovered that Serena was kind and hilarious and bawdy and as inappropriate as I am. She was also working on her first cookbook, which was called The Dude Diet.
Fast forward a few years: The Dude Diet came out and was a massive success, and Serena and I became friends. She’s my go-to for fashion and skincare advice, and she also makes me laugh until my stomach hurts every time I hang out with her. Now, Serena has just released her second book, The Dude Diet Dinnertime, which focuses on that stumper of a meal: dinner.
The whole Dude Diet approach is really similar to Healthier Together—Serena created the healthy-ish recipes of her husband, Logan’s, favorite foods. I love both of her books because they’re filled with the kind of decadent, comfort food I love, with veggies liberally added in. Think:
One pot cheeseburger fusilli
Crispy zucchini fries
Spinach artichoke grilled cheese
Awesome avocado tuna melts
Stovetop broccoli mac
and so much more.
Serena was kind enough to let me share the recipe for this farroto carbonara, which is a carbonara risotto that’s made with farro, a whole grain that adds a ton of fiber and protein over traditional pasta. The texture of this dish is out of this world—it’s stick-to-your-ribs hearty without making you feel heavy or gross after. If you’re a vegetarian, just leave out the bacon and use avocado oil to saute the onions and garlic (you could even top it with coconut bacon!). Serena suggests cooking this dish for a new love interest, and I get it—it’s definitely good enough to make someone fall in love with you.
Be sure to pick up your copy of The Dude Diet Dinnertime online, or wherever books are sold.Print
Farroto “Carbonara” (Protein-Packed)
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon (preferably with no added nitrates), diced
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup pearled or semi-pearled farro, rinsed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup frozen sweet peas
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Heat a medium Dutch oven or saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet and return the pan to heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant. (Be careful not to burn the garlic! If it starts to brown, reduce the heat slightly.) Add the farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to toast the grains. Add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the liquid has been completely absorbed, scraping up any delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat until the liquid is gently simmering and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring periodically, until the farro is al dente (aka just tender). There should be a good 1/4 cup or so of liquid in the pan.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg, cheese, a pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper in a small bowl.
- Add the peas to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until thawed, then stir in the bacon. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg mixture. Taste and season with a little extra salt and black pepper if needed.
- Divide the farroto between 2 bowls and serve immediately, garnished with the parsley.