I have been thinking about how it might be cool to do a bake pasta dish in which we swap the noodles for farro but leave all the great parts like cheese, so much cheese, chunks of vegetable and, most hopefully, a crunchy lid for years. Years! In that time, I have cooked hundreds of other things, some even not terrible, even, but it took until I handed my husband the latest Ina Garten cookbook and told him to pick out some things we should eat and he pointed to her recipe for crusty shells and cheese that I thought “This!” I last felt this urgently about swapping pasta for a grain when we made this, three and a half years ago.
I should not have waited so long. This was wonderful, a perfect example of the kind of cooking I like best: lots of whole grains and vegetables but no compromises in flavor, texture or a bit of indulgence. Nobody ate this for dinner just because they “should” and not just because half our family is under eight and definitely don’t care about “shoulds” at all.