Leeks are a milder member of the onion family, and have a sweet and delicate flavor perfect for spring. Along with garlic and carrot, leeks create a delicious rich flavor perfectly paired with fettuccine pasta, Parmesan, lemon and parsley in this dish.
Not only is a one-pot recipe helpful for avoiding more dirty dishes, it also creates a more flavorful simple pasta dish. Cooking pasta in vegetable broth and aromatic vegetables allows for a richer flavor, as the pasta absorbs the flavors and releases its starch to create the base for a creamy sauce.
While the dish cooks, the leeks melt into the mixture, and then a generous sprinkling of Parmesan at the end creates a silky sauce that coats all the noodles. A squeeze of lemon juice, some pine nuts and handful of parsley brightens up this cozy pasta dish perfectly.
While your one-pot pasta dish is cooking, toss together a simple salad of fresh greens with olive oil and vinegar. It’s a simple side that compliments the rich flavor of the fettuccine pasta.
For more seasonal meal ideas and grocery shopping inspiration, check out Uproot Kitchen’s monthly Seasonal Produce Lists.
One-pot fettuccine pasta with leeks and Parmesan
Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes
1 leek, white and light green parts
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup shredded carrot
Pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces fettuccine pasta, broken in half
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cut off the end and the dark green leaves of the leek bulb, and then slice in half lengthwise. Rinse well under running water to clean, and then slice thinly into half moons.
Mince garlic and set aside.
In a pot on medium-high heat, combine olive oil and sliced leeks. Sauté for a few minutes and then add in the shredded carrot, minced garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring to coat everything in oil.
Add in the fettuccine pasta, broken in half, and the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir well to ensure noodles are mostly submerged in the liquid.
Reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Cook for 10-11 minutes. If there is additional broth remaining in the bottom of the pot, cook uncovered for an additional 1-2 minutes. Check pasta for doneness, and turn off the heat once al dente.
Stir in Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and lemon juice until the cheese coats the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately with pine nuts, Parmesan and parsley as topping.
Leeks grow in sandy soil and the layers must be washed well to avoid grit. Be sure to rinse them well by opening up the layers of the leek after slicing the bulb in half lengthwise.
Do not reduce the oil in this recipe. Noodles will stick together or stick to the bottom of the pot if not enough oil is used.
Marisa Westbrook is a public health professional, recipe developer and food photographer. Visit her website, Uproot Kitchen, for simple and healthy recipes made with whole ingredients, kitchen DIY ideas and urban gardening posts. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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