Yesterday was St. David’s Day and we celebrated in true leek-y fashion. Everyone knows St. Patrick – well, everyone in the U.S. knows him as a reason to drink crappy green beer – but few know St. David.
St. David is the patron Saint of Wales (and also of doves, apparently) and he has his own vegetable: the humble leek. Green onion-ish, but more subtle and earthy, leeks can work in many recipes as a replacement for onions or green onions. They are the star ingredient in the classic vichyssoise and in cawl, a stew with beef or lamb and vegetables.
Husband J is of Welsh descent so I try to prepare something with leeks every March 1st. Usually I do a vichyssoise because it’s easy, but this year I decided to be different. I searched on Pinterest for recipes with leeks. I found one, took all of the ingredients and then prepared it in a completely different way than the recipe called for. I frequently do that: I just need to know what ingredients are going to be good together, and then I can figure out exactly how I want to do everything else.
I took 1/4 pound of bacon, diced and sauteed it, then sauteed 1 leek, sliced with the rings separated, in the bacon fat. There was some nice browning from the bacon and the leeks so I deglazed the pan with a splash of white vermouth and cooked it until the alcohol was cooked off. 8 ounces of cooked and drained pasta went into the pan and everything was mixed up quite nicely. Lowering the temperature to low-medium heat I added some half and half, just enough to lightly coat the pasta but not soak it. A little parmesan grated on top, some convincing on j that “you love leeks, remember that last time we had them?!”, and dinner was served.
- Using angel hair pasta was a very bad idea. Use a thicker pasta.
- Despite the poor choice of pasta this was really good.
I’d served asparagus & bacon pasta, and brussel sprouts & bacon pasta (do you sense a trend?) before but this was new. It was also simple, easy and delicious.