Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rosemary/Garlic/Apricot/Olive/Leeks/Salami Pasta

I was a little afraid this one had too many distinct flavors but it turned out to be surprisingly subtle. Rosemary, apricots, leeks and olives together!?! Who'da thunk it?

Adapted from a recent recipe in the newspaper. As usual with my recipes, measurements are approximate and flexible.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. good Italian salami or other dried sausage julienned.
3 leeks, white part only, split, sliced and well washed.
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped.
2 cloves garlic (or to taste) finely chopped with the rosemary.
6 dried apricots, thinly sliced
6 calamata or other dark olives, pitted and julienned.
4 servings of pasta, ideally large, tri-color radiattore
2 oz. grated parmesan, grana padana, or other hard cheese.
Salted boiling water.

  • Boil the pasta until al dente, drain. (This can be done while cooking the other ingredients.)
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  • Add salami and cook approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add leeks, cook approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add rosemary, garlic, apricots and olives. Cook about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Add a ladle-full of pasta water to the sauté pan and cover letting the mixture steam for a couple minutes until the leeks are almost done but not mushy.
  • Add the drained al dente pasta to the pan, stir, cover and turn the heat down. Allow the mixture to meld for a couple minutes. Do this with the lid off if the mixture is too wet.
  • Serve with the grated cheese sprinkled on top.
Makes 4 servings.

And, oh, by the way, this one is not great reheated the next night. Edible but muddled.

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.