4 October 2012

* Fusillata with Buttered Leeks and Gammon

Leek and Gammon Pasta
Josh absolutely loves convenience foods... if it comes in a packet, plastic box or tub or cardboard box - he'll eat it. Oddly enough he also loves fresh vegetables. Which as you can imagine, can be difficult to combine...

Anyone for a Big Mac and a plate of carrots?!!? No?

One of his favourite quick meals is a packet of  Batchelor's Ham and Leek Pasta 'n' Sauce, which I refuse to buy on the grounds that I can cook whatever is in it, from scratch - in about the same amount of time and make enough for us all to have the same meal - a VERY rare occurrence - without the additives and preservatives and general crapness that they put into these things.

And mine is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better. Of course.

I'm currently playing about with a variety of pastas that I haven't tried before. It's so easy to get bogged down with using the same stuff all the time because we remember to buy it and know we have a use for it. Macaroni is something that this house would fall down, without. It's my *go to* pasta.

Yesterday, after falling in love with the little squishy cream cheese filled peppers - I found some sexy looking pasta called Fusillata Caseraccia. There's no translation (that I could find) for Fusillata. It's probably just a schmexy way of saying Fusilli. But Casareccia appears to mean *homemade* - which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and earth mothery.

Which is new. Not sure if it's me, though.

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Serves 3 sedate appetites or 2 greedy buggers

Prep time - 5 minutes
Cooking time - 12 - 14 minutes (OMG!)

You will need
A medium saucepan with lid
A pot to cook your pasta in

200g Fusillata Casareccia (or similar pasta)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsps butter
2 medium leeks - chopped
2 cloves garlic - crushed
150g cooked gammon - chopped
150ml crème fraîche
100ml double cream
2 heaped tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. You can put the sauce together whilst it's cooking.

In the saucepan, over a very gentle heat melt the butter and oil together then add the chopped leeks and garlic. Stir into the buttery oil, then place the lid on allow to sweat gently for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the chopped gammon. Stir to heat through - about 2 minutes.

Add the crème fraîche and double cream to the leeks and gammon. They should begin to simmer almost immediately. Add the Parmesan, stir to combine. Season with black pepper to taste. Turn the heat down and put the lid on to keep it warm until the pasta is cooked (if it isn't already).

Add the cooked, drained pasta to saucepan, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Stir to combine with the leeks and gammon. If you'd like a looser sauce, add a splash of the pasta liquor.

Serve with warm crusty garlic bread and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

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