Five courses. Plenty of wine. A silent auction and an incredible cause. Today on Indy Style, we learn how Donatello’s is preparing a dinner that co-owners Beth and Adam Aasen hope you’ll come be a part of!
Donatello’s is located at 9 W. Main Street, Carmel, Indiana, 46032. It’s in the Carmel Arts & Design District and this restaurant has been around for six years. Patrick Aasen, Beth’s husband and Adam’s father, is the chef and co-owner and he previously owned Arturo’s Ristorante Italiano at 86th and Keystone, which was open from 1992 to 2003.
ABOUT THE WINE DINNER AND CHAUCIE’S PLACE:
Donatello’s Italian Restaurant. located in the Carmel Arts & Design District, is hosting a five-course wine dinner on Thursday Nov. 3 with a portion of the proceeds going to Chaucie’s Place, a Carmel-based nonprofit.
The event starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are being sold for $110 per person, which includes all food and wine. Tax, tip and a donation to Chaucie’s Place are included in every ticket sold. Chaucie’s Place is a local nonprofit child advocacy organization in Hamilton County that focuses on the prevention of child sexual abuse and youth suicide. It’s named after Chaucie Quillen, a Carmel woman who took her life on Dec. 26, 1995 at age 21. Quillen had previously told authorities at age 18 that she had dealt with years of sexual abuse at the hands of her father since the age of eight. Her father was prosecuted, but after a two-week trial the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict and the case was eventually resolved through plea negotiations.
Donatello’s is also organizing a silent auction at the wine dinner with items up for bid such as Indianapolis Colts tickets for the New Years Day game, Indy Eleven soccer tickets, theater tickets, free haircuts from upscale salons, gift cards from local businesses, gift baskets from local businesses and more. All the money from the silent auction goes to Chaucie’s Place. There are five courses in the wine dinner with five wines paired. Selections include pasta fagioli soup, antipasti salad, lobster risotto, beef braciola and assorted Desserts.
MENU AND WINE PAIRINGS:
Ruffino Sparkling Rose & Cecchi Sangiovese
Soup- Pasta Fagoli.
Palladio Chianti DOCG
Salad- Antipasta salad with fried cheeses (mozzarella and Parma) and prosciutto, salami and mortadella on bed of greens.-
Pertinace Dolcetto d’Alba
3rd course- Lobster Risotto-Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio
4th course Beef Braciole with veg-
Fifth course- homemade Italian cookies and fruit-
Mionetto il Moscato
Lobster risotto from Donatello’s Italian Restaurant
Recipe by Beth Aasen
Co-Owner of Donatello’s Italian Restaurant
Lobster risotto is decadent — and time-consuming — but it’s a great fall treat to warm yourself. Be warned, stirring alone takes about 20 to 30 minutes and that doesn’t include prep time, so this isn’t a quick dinner.
2 live lobsters (1 pound each)
2 whole tomatoes
2 whole onions peeled
4 stalks celery
3 whole peeled carrots
1/2 cup white onion chopped
tablespoon of thyme
cup of cooking white wine
tablespoon of chopped raw garlic
2 cups of arborio rice
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of ground parmesan cheese
Pepper and salt for seasoning to taste
Tablespoon of chopped chives.
Tablespoon of saffron
First, you’ll need to create at least six cups of lobster stock. It’s hard to buy this at the store and it’s better to make your own fresh, so start off with a pot of about 8 to 10 cups of water, enough to submerge the lobsters in a pot. You might end up with more stock than you need but that’s OK since it freezes well for next time you make this dish.
To make the stock, you get water warmed up and then throw in the live lobsters. You might hear them “scream” but that’s not real, it’s just air coming out of their body. They have no vocal chords. Then you throw in the carrots, tomatoes, celery, whole onions, one leek and the thyme. Cook until the lobsters get pink. Not only does this cook the lobster meat you need, but it also creates your stock, so you’re killing two birds with one stone (or two lobsters with one pot…) Remove the lobsters and strain your stock so it’s nice and clear and not full of chunks. Use a fine strainer.
Crack open the lobster and remove the meat and chop it up. Use your claw cracker or a hammer on a cutting board.
Once you have your stock, it’s time to make your risotto. Grab a large stainless steel or copper skillet and put it on medium heat. Add half your olive oil and butter and once it’s warm add chopped onions so they can sizzle. Next you’ll add the rice and immediately start stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan. This is a dish that involves lots and lots of stirring and your wrist might get tired. From this point, you keep adding a little stock and a little white wine and go back and forth until the rice has absorbed the flavor. You want the rice tender and the mixture creamy. This might take 20 minutes. Near the end, add saffron.
After you’ve got this start, in a separate pan, cook a half cup of chopped leeks in a pan with melted butter and tablespoon of chopped raw garlic. until the leeks are carmelized and soft. You’ll add the chopped up lobster, some garlic and a splash of white wine.
In the last five minutes, you add parmesan cheese and the ingredients from the lobster pan. You don’t want to add the lobster or leeks in the beginning because it takes a while for the rice to absorb and the lobster will get tough and chewy if you add it too soon. Keep stirring and stirring so the rice can absorb all the wonderful flavors. Plate and garnish with chopped chives.
STATISTICS ABOUT CHAUCIE’S PLACE AND THEIR CAUSE:
1. 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by the 18th Birthday.
2. Of those children being sexually abused, 90% are abused by someone they know, trust and love.
3. The median age for reported abuse from children is 9 years old.
4. Children who are sexually abused are 7 times more likely to choose to die by suicide.
5. Suicide is the number 2 cause of death of 10-24 year olds in the State of Indiana. Homicide is number 5.
Guests can purchase tickets at 9 W. Main Street in Carmel or by calling 317-564-4790. You can also purchase online at www.eventbrite.com/e/five-course-wine-dinner-tickets-27473975400. To learn more, visit www.donatellositalian.com.