- Mr. Taster Jan 27, 2005 11:12 AM
re the pasta w/ leeks recipe you posted-- I didn't want this posting to get lost in the shuffle. Good god was that a delicious pasta dish!! Thank you so much for posting it. You didn't mention it in your description but I found it necessary to cover the pan, which steamed and softened the leeks simultaneously while helping to infuse the garlic butter flavor. Was this step in the original recipe? Also, on my gas range the leeks were totally soft and started to burn at 30 minutes, not 45... good thing I checked on it because if I had let it go for a few more minutes, the "heavy" carmelization on the leeks would have turned to overcarmelization :-)
Thanks again for a fantastic recipe
re: Dennis S
here it is for those that missed her original post.
Here is a paraphrased version of the recipe:
6 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced into rounds 1/4" thick
1 T veg oil
3 T butter
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
fine sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound pasta (strozzapreti, fusilli, penne or rigatoni)
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste
Soak leeks in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt. Shake off excess water but do not dry off leeks. Put oil, butter and garlic in a 12" skillet on medium heat. Cook garlic briefly, stirring; remove and discard it when it turns very pale blond. (I saved the cloves and roasted them in the oven in aluminum foil to spread on bread.) Add leeks to pan, sprinkle them with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become very soft, almost creamy in consistency (takes about 45 minutes). If the pan gets dry while the leeks are cooking down, add 3 or 4 tablespoons water. When leeks are completely soft, increase heat to high and continue cooking them until they become colored a pale nut color, turning them over occasionally. Sprinkle with generous grindings of pepper to counterbalance their potentially cloying sweetness. Add cream and reduce it over high heat for a minute or two. Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan, toss together over high heat for a minute, add a generous amount of parmigiano-reggiano cheese and serve.
Thanks to all for the positive feedback on the pasta with leeks recipe. In answer to Mr. Taster's question, the original recipe didn't call for the leeks to be covered, but I probably had my stove on the low side of medium low, because my stove in my apartment sucks (don't get me started on that one though!). That's why it took me closer to 45 minutes rather than your 30. Also my leeks from my farmers market were HUGE so there may have been more in my pan to cook down than in yours.
But really we should all thank Marcella Hazan for that one--it came from her book!