Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Tagliatelle with leeks.

Rachel Roddy’s leeks and mussels tagliatelle recipe | A Kitchen in Rome | Life and style | The Guardian
The leeks, which are inspired by an Anna Del Conte recipe.
Having cooked the leeks until soft and silky and intensely savoury, she stirred them into pasta.
Leeks cooked this way can be mixed with ricotta, which again makes an excellent sauce for pasta.
They are also good stirred into boiled rice or with soft boiled eggs, or served under fish or chicken.
Tagliatelle with leeks (and mussels, if you like)
Serves 4
800g leeks – ideally smallish ones
40g butter
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
A generous splash of white wine
450g tagliatelle
1.5kg mussels (optional)
Pecorino cheese

1 Prepare the leeks: cut away the root and trim 5-10cm of dark green from the top, depending on freshness, so you are left with just white and light green.
Cut the leeks into thin rounds, then rinse well to get rid of any grit, then drain.

2 Warm the butter and the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a low-medium heat, add the leeks and a pinch of salt and stir until they are glistening.
Add the wine.
Cover the leeks with a piece of buttered greaseproof paper, cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the leeks are incredibly soft.
Pull the pan from the heat.

3 Bring a large pan of water to a fast boil, add salt, stir and add the tagliatelle, and set the timer for one minute less than the time on the packet.
Once the pasta is al dente, drain, reserving a little pasta cooking water, then tip into the leek (and mussel) pan and toss well, adding a little pasta cooking water (mussel liquor) if you think it needs it.
Serve immediately, with grated pecorino or parmesan cheese if you like.

When you are cooking the leeks, Anna suggests you put a layer of buttered baking parchment between the leeks and the lid.
It really does seem to make the leeks more silky, but it is a step you could skip.

I have suggested tagliatelle – the flat ribbons working well with this sauce – but I imagine linguine, spaghetti or farfalle would work well too.
And finally cheese, ideally pecorino, most certainly on the leek version.

Rachel Roddy
is a food blogger based in Rome and the author of Five Quarters: Recipes and Notes from a Kitchen in Rome (Saltyard, 2015) and winner of the 2015 André Simon food book award.

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