It’s been so rainy today that everything in sight is a variation of green: the yet-to-be-mowed grass. The budding trees. The trembling stalks supporting the heavy heads of daffodils. My dinner of orecchiette bathed in butter, chartreuse leeks, backyard mint and verdant parsley. Tiny pasta ears cradle pale green edamame, the whole bowl crowned with pea shoots. It was as close to a taste of spring in a bowl as I’ve come in a long time. It is long overdue.
Orecchiette de Aprile, serves two, plus a little one who’s almost 4
1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 c edamame, shelled (I don’t mind the frozen, thaw under some cold water in a strainer)
1/2 c Parmesan, finely grated
3/4 c pasta water, reserved
1 T mint, finely chopped
1 T parsley, finely chopped
Small handful of pea shoots
Bring heavily salted water to a boil and add the pasta; cook until desired tenderness. While water is coming to a boil, in a large pan melt the butter and add the olive oil. Add in the sliced leeks and cook over medium low heat until softened, but not browned, about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the garlic cook another minute or two. Add the edamame and heat gently.
When the pasta is done, reserve some of the water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta into the pan with the vegetables. Add in a half a cup of the pasta water and most all of the cheese, reserving some for garnishing. Mix gently, adding more water if it needs a bit more “sauce.” Mix in the herbs, taste for seasoning. Divide among plates, garnish with a small handful of pea shoots and the rest of the cheese.
Playlist included You Are A Tourist, by Death Cab for Cutie.