This dish started out as a bit of a recipe fail. I think I know what happened – I’m sure it was something I screwed up – but it still soured me on the whole thing. This recipe uses the same flavours from the one I tried to make initially (see source recipes), but simplified – and with guaranteed results.
This dish was inspired by something I had at a restaurant many years ago. I had never had rosemary or leeks in a pasta like this. While often considered ‘fall’ flavours, the combination of the woody rosemary and leeks with the fresh tomatoes and light olive oil sauce is really interesting. Topping it off is some crumbled chèvre that melts into the hot pasta. This dish is best when you can get fresh local tomatoes.
This is an olive oil sauce, the flavour of which is balanced with salt. This is more salt than I usually add to a dish, but it is actually important.
Since I usually make this dish from the top of my head, I decided to try to flesh out an actual recipe. I laugh at myself, because I actually bought too few tomatoes for the dish. Had I figured out a recipe years ago, I would have known how much to get. I also had a hard time guesstimating how much pasta to make. I found this neat page, on the Barilla website, to help you figure out how much pasta to cook (based on a 2oz serving size). In the end, I just estimated based on the amount in the package – I used half of a 900g package, so it’s just about a pound of dried pasta (or a 6-inch bunch, when you measure the circumference).
This recipe will feed 4-6.
- 1LB Fettuccine or Linguine
- 3-5 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chopped shallot or onion
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic (appx 1-2 cloves)
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (plus some for garnish, optional)
- 2-3 cup chopped mushrooms
- appx 3 tbsp white wine
- 1 medium leek, green part separated from white, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1LB cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- appx 4 Tbsp chèvre (goat cheese)
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta in a large pot. Drain, toss with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, and keep hot (this is important).
- In the meantime, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a deep sauté pan, or large sauce pan. Sauté shallot/onion until translucent, for approximately 1 minute.
- Add garlic, rosemary, and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms reduce in size and begin to brown.
- Add the white part of the leek, and saute for another minute or two. Add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water, if it’s looking dry.
- Add the tomatoes, and about 1/2 of the green part of the leeks.
- Add the rest of the olive oil, the salt and stir.
- Add the pasta and toss.
- Serve hot, topping each plate with some crumbled chèvre, freshly ground black pepper, and some of the green leek.