May 18, 2013
Written by Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 12:24
With snow still swirling around us and that furry little creature telling us we will have six more weeks of winter, all we can think about is being stuck in the house — and eating.
Many family gatherings on Sundays are helping pass the time, but that means eating and feeding everyone again. We have tested and tried so many new recipes, from new food trends to comforting old favorites; but our all-time family favorite is pasta.
There is something about sitting around the table, with the ones you love, and passing that big bowl of yummy deliciousness. It brings warm, comforting thoughts of our grandparents, who spent most weekends with us; and the worry-free days of childhood. There was nothing better than playing outside all day in the neighborhood and running home just in time for a big, family dinner.
In our family, the salad always was passed around first. Mom’s salad dressing is still the most requested by the children. A simple mix of olive oil, red-wine vinegar and seasonings. Mom was making today’s popular vinaigrette, and she didn’t even know it.
The pasta course came next. Most often it was Nana’s sauce and meatballs with spaghetti, or her treasured homemade manicotti. We thought we would change it a little, try a different ingredient — and wow, the family loved it.
1 pound perciatelli pasta (or pasta of your choice)
3 to 4 leeks
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine
pinch of nutmeg
grated provolone cheese for garnish (can use Parmesan)
1/2 cup toasted pignoli nuts
Prepare pasta as directed. Clean and cut leeks. In a large skillet, sauté the cut leeks in the butter and olive oil over medium heat, about 10 minutes (may take up to 20 minutes), until very soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook one to two minutes more. Add the cream and 1/4 cup white wine. Simmer for three minutes.
If sauce is too thick, add more cream and a splash of wine. Re-season with salt and pepper, if needed. Add cooked pasta to skillet and mix together. Garnish with the grated cheese of your choice and the pignolis. Enjoy!
Pignoli nuts: Bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet, for 5 to 10 minutes, checking often.
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