Saturday, June 3, 2023

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for pasta with leeks, mushrooms, thyme and delicate cheese | Meals

Leeks are exhausting to come back by in Rome, so once I do discover some on a shelf or stall, there’s much more purpose to assume: “Beautiful leek.” Which is how Simon Hopkinson describes them in his e book The Vegetarian Possibility, and an alliteration so neat and proper that it caught and now flashes up each time I see one. And, as a result of ideas are like dominoes, beautiful leeks might effectively remind me of the stunning Linda mug I shared a desk with for per week or so, a few years in the past; and of its proprietor, too, who was additionally beautiful, with clean arms (and a pot of hand cream on her desk) and a sister who was an optician in Barnes. It’s humorous the issues we bear in mind.

Hopkinson additionally calls leeks thesoftly softly” of the onion household, which isn’t only a good description of their flavour and nature, however can also be a reminder of the right way to prepare dinner them for soups and sauces. Softly softly, and don’t neglect slowly slowly. Which is the place Hopkinson meets Anna Del Conte and her methodology for cooking leeks for pasta or rice. That is additionally nice, as a result of it looks like two favorite cookery writers are having a chat and swapping recommendation in my kitchen. First, although, clear the leek, trim away the darkish welly finish and roots, then cut up it lengthways, however not all the best way, so it stays intact and followers out like a peacock’s tail, permitting all of the grit might be washed away. This central cut up additionally means the leek then cuts simply into half moons.

Del Conte’s method begins the sliced leek in a mixture of olive oil and butter, then, after decreasing the warmth (which is necessary), a chunk of crumpled greaseproof paper is pressed on high. By doing this, the steam is trapped, intently, however with out stress, making a extremely efficient, steamy braise beneath which leeks – and mushrooms for that matter – soften, and switch buttery in seems to be and flavour. Cooked this fashion, and seasoned generously with salt and black pepper, leeks and mushrooms present a easy and attractive condiment for pasta lengthy and brief, dried and contemporary (most shapes work). Alternatively, stir a crushed combination of sentimental cheese (robiola, Philadelphia or delicate goat’s), grated parmesan and pasta cooking water into the greens, which makes for a extra luscious model.

This pasta dish is a reminder of the worth of pasta cooking water, effectively seasoned with salt and cloudy with starch that has seeped from the pasta because it boils. Right here, it’s used each to loosen the kind of cheese combination and for the ultimate mixing, when just a bit (I discover a small espresso or espresso cup full is an effective measure – and car – to hold the pasta water from pan to mixing pan) helps ease the consistency of the ultimate dish. You might have considered trying a bit extra grated parmesan on high, a glass of wine, a second serving to, a second glass of wine, some bread for wiping the dish, a inexperienced salad, extra cheese after which paradise cake.

Pasta with leeks, mushrooms, thyme and delicate cheese

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
1 massive leek
, cleaned and minimize into rings
250g mushrooms (discipline, button or chestnut), sliced
Salt and black pepper
A number of sprigs of contemporary thyme
1 heaped tbsp
delicate cheese (non-compulsory)
1 heaped tbsp grated parmesan (non-compulsory)
450g lengthy dried pasta (linguine, tagliatelle, penne, fusilli …)

Deliver a pan of water to a boil for the pasta. Put the oil, butter and leek in a deep saute pan, and prepare dinner on a medium-low warmth till the leek begins to wilt. Add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and the thyme and prepare dinner, stirring, for a couple of minutes extra.

Press a chunk of greaseproof paper on high of the greens, flip down the warmth and go away to braise/steam for 10-Quarter-hour, till the greens are tender and collapsed. As soon as performed, put to at least one aspect and hold heat.

Salt the boiling water, stir, then add the pasta and prepare dinner till al dente. In case you are including cheese, in small bowl combine the delicate cheese and parmesan, scoop out a little bit of the cooking water whereas the pasta cooks, and blend to a thick cream. Stir this by way of the greens.

When the pasta is completed, drain it, saving a little bit extra of its water, or carry it straight into the vegetable pan, then toss, including a little bit extra pasta cooking water to loosen the feel, when you assume it wants it.


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