What better thing to do in my bid to be "healthier" this January than to add leeks to one of the most yummy, iconic and speedy to rustle up pasta dishes, cacio e Pepe!
Sautéed leeks work a treat as addition to this magical cheese, pasta water and pepper sauce and though super simple in terms of ingredients this pasta wins in terms of creaminess and flavour!
The perfect weekday supper after a cold and long working day.
- 60g butter
- 1 x 500g pack leeks, trimmed and sliced
- 400g linguine or spaghetti
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp black peppercorns, finely crushed using a pestle and mortar, plus extra to serve
- 90g pecorino or Parmesan, finely grated - use vegetarian cheese if required
- Heat the butter in a large, deep frying pan and cook the leeks over a low heat, covered, for 6-8 minutes until softened.
- While the leeks are cooking, boil the pasta according to pack instructions.
- Drain over a large bowl to reserve the cooking water.
- Return to the leeks; stir in the garlic and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant, then add 150ml of the pasta cooking water.
- Toss together briefly, then evenly scatter over the grated cheese.
- Don’t stir but wait for the cheese to melt; about 1 minute.
- Once melted, add the drained pasta and stir well to coat. Add a little more pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
- Divide between bowls and serve immediately with extra black pepper ground over the top.