A few years ago I fell in love with leeks… literally. I became obsessed with them when one of my roommates made a baked chicken dish with leeks and apples, and I just died they were so delicious! After that, I tried every leek dish I could. This is one of my favorites. A few weeks ago we got the most beautiful leeks in our CSA and I knew it was time to make it again. I tend to make different renditions of the dish using different pasta or greens… this time around I used kale and tried out a GF macaroni.
Leek & Pancetta Pasta with Kale
based on Pioneer Woman’s recipe
Pasta of choice – macaroni, spaghetti, rigatoni – enough for 4 servings
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts thinly sliced & washed
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper
In a large pot, boil water and get the pasta cooking.
Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil. Add leeks and cook until they start to go limp and brown slightly. Throw in the pancetta and cook until its browned. Add white wine to deglaze the pan, stirring well to get all the goodness mixed together. Add heavy cream, a little bit of salt and freshly cracked black pepper and stir well. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan and mix it in. Mix in the kale and then cover the pan, giving the kale a chance to wilt a bit and cook through, about 5 minutes.
When the pasta is all done and drained (reserve a bit of the pasta water just in case), throw it into the pan with the sauce (if your saucepan is too small, you can always put the sauce into the pot with the pasta) and stir it all up to evenly coat the pasta. Add remaining Parmesan and stir until it’s all melty and gorgeous. If the sauce has gotten too thick for your liking, you can thin it with pasta water or some more cream.
When serving, top it off with a sprinkle of Parmesan and some black pepper.
NOTE: This dish is also delicious with spinach.