A Winter’s Pasta

Being a lazy arse, I’m all for quick and easy recipes, and Jamie Oliver (the god of cooking in my opinion) has a number of recipes that fit this description (as well as a number that don’t). The most recent Jamie Oliver recipe J—– and I have tried from his website is the “World’s most elegant winter pasta” with its three main ingredients of leeks, kale and pasta.

So it sounds like a bit of a health kick. Well yeah, it is a bit. With some super seasonal veggies, it made me feel a hell of a lot better for eating far too much Halloween candy. But we must put our faith in Jamie and trust that it won’t be a lifeless, limp, green dish.

First, I should tell you why I think Mr Oliver is friggin amazing. I first watched The Naked Chef tv series with my mum when I was in primary school. It’s the first cooking show that I remember seeing (before Gordon Ramsey, Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson and Heston Blumenthal; before Top Chef, MasterChef and the Great Brittish Bake Off). The show was hipster before hipster was a thing – a young guy living in one hell of a London flat, looking pretty dapper riding his scooter around the city streets and ending each day by cooking some amazing meals. This show kickstarted my childhood dreams of becoming a chef  – a short-lived dream that died between one too many failed chicken chow mains and food technology at high school. But, I will always have faith in Jamie and his recipes (especially after my mother made his Chocolate Tart from the cookbook The Naked Chef).

Now back to the winter pasta, a recipe really defined by its simplicity. Simmering down to minimal instructions, you basically boil leeks and garlic, add some kale and boil some more. Then you blend/vitamise/liquidise the greens with a huge wallop of olive oil. Finally, you add this green creamy mix to some cooked pasta (made in the same pot in which the veggies were boiled) and add parmesan.Voilà – easy (I don’t feel so guilty about the chocolate) pasta.

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As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of leeks, this dish knocked my socks off. Perhaps it’s the olive oil that makes it, perhaps it’s the parmesan. All I need to know is that it only takes 20 minutes to prepare, the blender means minimal chopping, it requires just one pot, and it tastes fantastic at the end. Perfect for my lazy arse coming home from work.

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The recipe says that you should mix the greens, pasta and parmesan in the pot for before plating, which of course I missed. J—– so helpfully pointed this out after I had plated and taken this photo

 

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