I’m on a kick with leeks and broccoli! I’ve done plenty of versions of pasta in a cream sauce with some cheese, too. This all comes together very nicely, and in pretty much the usual time to get pasta on the table, which is to say not very long at all.
Three leeks seems like a lot, but it’s amazing how they want to disappear. The amount of pasta to cook is, of course, the amount of pasta you know 2 people will eat.
30 minutes prep time
1 small head of broccoli
1 large carrot
3 large leeks
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
150 grams (1/2 pound) lean bacon
2 tablespoons bacon fat
166 grams to 225 grams (1/3 to 1/2 pound) stubby pasta
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons rubbed savory
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 cup 10% cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Wash and trim the broccoli, and cut it into florets. Set it aside.
Peel and grate the carrot. Wash, trim, and cut the leeks into thin slices. Rinse them well and drain them thoroughly. Peel and mince the garlic.
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Chop the bacon and cook it gently in a large skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and drain off any excess fat leaving about 2 tablespoons. (Or add enough to make 2 tablespoons, but good luck with that.)
Add the leeks and carrots and cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The vegetables should soften and cook down, but don’t let them brown. Season with salt – very carefully given the presence of both bacon and cheese – and more generously with pepper, and add the savory. Mix in well.
When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook it for the time indicated on the package plus 1 minute. When it has 6 minutes left to cook, add the broccoli.
Meanwhile, mix the flour into the chicken stock being sure there are no lumps. Mix the cream into the chicken stock then pour it into the pan of vegetables. Bring it to a gently simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta and broccoli are cooked and the sauce has thickened; both at about the same time if all goes according to plan. Drain the pasta and broccoli very well then mix them into the pan of sauce. Serve with the grated Parmesan sprinkled over.
Last year at this time I made Onion Caraway Soup.