Based on a recipe from the May 2011 Cook's Illustrated and served for Sunday dinner on May 19, 2013. Makes 8-12 servings (for us, more than twice as many servings as declared in the original recipe).
There are a lot of steps in this recipe but it's not as hard or time consuming as it might seem. I tend to write atomic steps for recipes, in each step you do just one thing. My wife says it's because I'm a programmer. The recipe published in Cook's Illustrated has but 6 steps.
3 medium leeks
1 pound asparagus
2 cups frozen peas
4 medium garlic cloves
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
Fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Table salt and black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound dry campanelle (farfalle or penne can be used as well)
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash the leeks to remove dirt and mud from between the leaves.
- Cut off the dark green tops, roughly chop them, and place them in a large sauce pan.
- Cut the remaining white and light green parts of the leeks in half lengthwise and then cut them crosswise into ½" slices.
- Snap or cut off the tough ends of the asparagus.
- Coarsely chop the tough ends and add them to the sauce pan with the chopped leek tops.
- Cut the tender ends of the asparagus on a bias into ½" pieces.
- Mince the garlic or pass it through a garlic press.
- Chop the mint making two tablespoons minced mint.
- Chop the chives making two tablespoons minced chives.
- Finely grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
- Combine the mint, chives, and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
- Juice the lemon.
- Add water, vegetable broth, 1 cup peas, and 2 teaspoons garlic to the dark green leek trimmings and tough asparagus ends.
- Over medium-high heat bring this to a bowl then simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a large bowl or measuring cup, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables.
- Add water, if needed, to measure 5 cups broth.
- Wipe out the large sauce pan and return the broth. Keep it warm over low heat.
- In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the sliced leeks and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook with occasional stirring until the leeks begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add asparagus pieces and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add remaining garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add 1 cup peas and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer the vegetables to a plate and wipe out the Dutch oven.
- In the Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the dry pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes
- Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes
- Add hot broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in lemon juice, Parmesan, half of the herb mixture, and vegetables.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with additional Parmesan and the herb mixture.
|Clean the leeks and roughly chop the dark green ends.|
|Cut the lighter leek ends in half lengthwise and cut into ½" slices.|
|Cook the dark green leeks ends, tough ends of asparagus, peas, and garlic to make a vegetable broth.|
|Mince fresh mint and chives and combine with lemon zest.|
|Strain the vegetables from the broth and keep the broth warm.|
|Cook light ends of leeks until starting to brown.|
|Add tender ends of asparagus.|
|Add peas, garlic, and pepper flakes, cook and then set aside.|
|Cook the dried pasta in oil until it starts to brown.|
|Add white wine and and cook until fully absorbed, then add the hot broth and cook until the pasta is al dente.|
|Add the cooked vegetables, cheese, and herb mixture, heat through, and serve.|