Everyone has started school and I am certainly blissed out from all the quiet. We returned from Castine with some lovely vegetables. Let me begin with these fabulous leeks…
Needing a Meatless Monday post and feeling self-indulgent, I decided to make a pasta dinner including my favorite ingredients with leeks anchoring the dish. This is an easy weeknight meal requiring only 2 pots. When the pasta is finished cooking, the sauce will be ready and waiting.
Mushrooms and leeks go hand in hand in the culinary world, so some earthy baby bellas made it into the mix.
These leeks, grown on the shore of mid-coast Maine, were so photogenic.
Tomatoes, a touch of lemon and goat cheese finish the dish. Feel free to embellish with fresh herbs or fruity kalamata olives.
Gemelli with Leeks, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Chevre
1 1lb. gemelli pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
3 garden leeks, washed well, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 (10-oz) pkg. baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, more to taste
2 Tbsp. lemon juice or dry white wine
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, drained, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1 cup crumbled chevre (about 4-oz), divided
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsely or thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the gemelli al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Drain gemelli but do not rinse. Return gemelli to pot.
While waiting on the pasta water, add olive oil and butter to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the leeks, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes and reduce the heat to medium.
Continue to cook and stir mushrooms have given off most of their liquid, about 8 minutes. Add lemon juice, cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and reserved pasta water. Cook and stir to heat through. Pour the vegetable mixture over the gemelli. Add 1/2 cup goat cheese. If using, add the parsley and olives. Toss well.
Serve and garnish with remaining goat cheese.