Monday, October 12, 2009

Pasta with Leeks, Pine Nuts and Toasted Bread Crumbs

    I don't come up with new ideas for dishes often, but when I do and its a hit I like to break down the brainstorming process. Hunger and craving are steps 1 and 2. I'd been dreaming about Nonna's specialty dish, pasta with sardines, which is topped with delicious browned bread crumbs. But, the CSA packs my fridge with veggies, not sardines and I had a bunch of leeks. I went on my google reader and came across a post titled, "Leek Pasta: who loves ya baby?" Pasta with Leeks. (On a side note: No wonder why Gourmet magazine went out of business. Food bloggers are in mourning but we are to blame. Who needs Gourmet when there is a wealth of glorious free food porn and recipes!?)
    Leek Pasta equals genius, but Judith's recipe calls for heavy cream and cheese and frankly dairy and myself are lover's at war and I am a sad loser. Picture me running longingly toward a bowl of fresh whipped cream. I am mouthing, "I love you! Let's be together again." Just as I am about to take that sweet cream into my loving and forgiving embrace it smacks me in the face then punches me in the gut, double time. Its so wrong, so I am trying to walk away quietly. 
    Then there it was leeks and bread crumbs, some toasted pine nuts and pasta and it was delicious and dairy-free! I don't need you after all, cream!
    I sauteed some shallots and garlic with peperoncino in lard (substitute butter or olive oil here). With lard, if you got it flaunt it, right? I cut the leeks into little rings (after soaking them in water; they are dirty!) and sauteed them. Salt and pepper. I got everything nice and caramelized then added some pine nuts and toasted them. In a separate pan, I browned some bread crumbs in olive oil or butter while the pasta was boiling. I only had angel hair but I would recommend spaghetti. After draining the pasta, I coated it in a little olive oil, added the leeks on top and the toasted bread crumbs on top of that. Some pecorino romano or parmesan cheese would be delicious to finish this off. There I go again, taking that dairy back. Some parsley would be nice, too. 
    So fresh and so vegan minus the lard! But, dairy-free is all that matters to me.


and this blog said...

looks yummy!!!!

Mags said...

I can't imagine having to be dairy free. I'd die. No, seriously, I would die. I could give up meat if I had to, but never, ever dairy. That said, this recipe does look good enough to try without the dairy (but I bet I'd cave in the end and sprinkle on some