Loving Leeks with Pasta
It’s Monday and already the marking of papers for school has piled up. My senior kids had a practise written assessment task for English this afternoon and I must get them back to them by tomorrow so they can prepare for the actual graded task next week. It’s called a SAC – School Assessed Task – and they are pretty important as it is the SAC grades that they see on their mid year reports. The kids get pretty stressed and I get pretty stressed about marking them.
I still had to feed my family, my cat and my dog. I still had to help my daughter with her own studies as she is in her final year of high school and the pressure is incredible. She had her own English SAC today and she came home trying to work out how she went and I knew she was a little stressed. We all needed to be fed well but hours in the kitchen was not an option.
I do love pasta. Last week when I complained that I didn’t want to make pasta, it wasn’t because I didn’t like it, but that I had chicken and Leek pie stuck in my head. In fact it was the Leek I craved more than the chicken.
I love Leeks. They are versatile and taste wonderful and give any food you pair them with a great colour. Used with creme fraiche and stirred through any type of pasta is wonderful. Top with parsley and a good quality parmesan cheese and you have a wonderfully rich but easy Monday night meal.
This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe. I will post the recipe with Pancetta and mushrooms however tonight as I was unable to stop on the way home from work to buy pancetta, I left it out. When I got home I realised that I didn’t have enough of the same type of pasta left in the pantry and as I had chicken tenderloins in the fridge I added that instead to bulk up the meal.
This is why I love cooking. Recipes for me are a guide. If you don’t like a particular vegetable substitute it for something you do like. There is nothing more depressing than not making something because you don’t have a particular type of pasta or you prefer a tomato based sauce to a cream one. Just do what you like. Cooking is about eating what you love not being stressed out and not trying things and experimenting with food.
- 300 g pasta shells conchiglie
- Sea Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 125 g pancetta sliced
- 2 medium Leeks trimmed and finely sliced
- 250 g chestnut Mushrooms trimmed and sliced
- 3 tablespoons crème fraiche
- Flat-leaf parsley chopped
- Shaved Parmesan Cheese to serve
Add the pasta shells to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the pancetta. Fry for a few minutes until it is golden brown, then add the leeks, mushrooms and a little salt and pepper. Stir over high heat for 6–8 minutes until the leeks are tender.
Drain the pasta and immediately toss with the pancetta, leeks and mushrooms. Stir in the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter over the chopped parsley to serve.