The time period background music has at all times bothered me. Why would I need background music? If music is sweet, it needs to be performed loudly. I’ve by no means understood the purpose of enjoying music softly, dulled to the purpose the place you may hear it with out actually listening to it. Particularly if it’s quiet music to start with. Life is just too brief to play light music quietly.
Wait. Alex, are you utilizing your opinions about music and quantity settings as a metaphor to steer us into some form of culinary exploit?
You’re goddamn proper I’m. As a result of I take into consideration meals in precisely the identical method I do quiet music: Simply since you’re offered with much less, that doesn’t imply that you just shouldn’t soak up each ounce of it to the fullest. Whether or not the music is raucous or tender, whether or not the elements are opulent or humble, play it loud. And seeing that it’s Lease Week, we’re going to be turning up the quantity on a humble listing of elements. We’re making a easy, lemony leek pasta with anchovies and chile flakes. Don’t go working on the point out of anchovies—I promise this isn’t a fishy pasta. Simply throw on this Loud Little Vibrations playlist I made for you (utterly freed from cost) and seize some leeks.
Talking of, leeks are with out argument probably the most undervalued allium round. They supply that sweetness we love, with none harsh chew. They usually’re inexpensive! Which is why leeks are getting the highlight on this Lease Week pasta dish. We’re going to sauté them and fry them into a pleasant crispy topping. However first we now have to slice them.
Slice three giant leeks in half lengthwise. Thinly slice one of many halves widthwise so you might have a bunch of small, crescent-shaped items of leek. We’re going to fry these. Cowl the underside of a skillet in olive oil and warmth it over medium warmth. Drop the thinly sliced leeks into the oil and allow them to fry till they begin to flip golden-brown. As soon as this occurs, flip off the warmth and switch the crispy leeks onto a paper towel with a slotted spoon. We’ll come again for these after we serve our pasta. However earlier than we get to pasta, it’s worthwhile to zest 1 lemon with a Microplane. Save the lemon. We’ll come again for that too.
Fill your pasta pot with water (Don’t overlook to season that water with kosher salt) and prepare dinner on excessive warmth. Whereas the water involves a boil, let’s get again to the remainder of the leeks. Slice the remaining leeks into barely broader crescents than the leeks we fried, about ½” vast. In a Dutch oven, warmth three Tbsp. of butter over medium-low warmth and add the sliced leeks, stirring them in order that they’re coated in butter. Add a pinch of kosher salt, two hefty pinches of pink pepper flakes, a beneficiant glug of white wine (no matter you might have mendacity round will do), ½ of the lemon zest, and 5 anchovy fillets.
Tremendous. Let’s take a minute and speak about anchovies. I perceive why individuals are turned off by a ‘chovy. However simply since you add anchovies to one thing doesn’t imply the dish is immediately going to style actually fishy. You received’t flip right into a slimy fish for those who eat or odor this pasta. I promise. The anchovy gives a deep umami taste to the sauce. Nothing overwhelming. Only a spine of taste to make this pasta style like a hell of much more than it really is. We want the anchovy. And it’s greatest for those who use olive oil packed anchovies with a resealable lid.
Drop your pasta into the boiling water, and stir the leeks in order that the anchovies dissolve into the sauce. There! They’re gone! You’ll be able to’t even see them anymore. Squeeze the juice of the lemon you grated earlier into the sauce and stir. Hold the sauce over low warmth, simmering till your pasta finishes cooking.
And by finishes cooking, I imply is simply wanting al dente. We’re ending it within the pan, so we wish to have the ability to prepare dinner it only a tad longer. Add about 1 cup of the pasta water to the Dutch oven, and switch the pasta to the Dutch oven utilizing tongs or a spider. Add 2 Tbsp. of butter and toss the pasta. Usually, you’d add some grated Parmesan right here too to actually thicken your sauce. Seeing because it’s Lease Week, that’s completely optionally available. Just a bit finely grated Parm goes a good distance within the sauce, however the butter, wine, pasta water, and lemon will do their fair proportion for those who don’t have Parm available.
As soon as the pasta is coated in a shiny sauce, it’s topping time. Plate your pasta in a shallow bowl and hit it with a sprinkle of the remaining lemon zest, a pinch of pink pepper flakes, and among the crispy leeks we began with. In case you’ve bought extra grated Parm round, go for it, however like I mentioned earlier, it’s Lease Week. I’m not made out of money. Or Parmesan.
And now that you just’re consuming the pasta, that music you’ve had turned up when you have been cooking is fairly laborious to listen to. The whole lot else is fairly laborious to listen to. As a result of for being such a quiet listing of elements, what’s occurring in that bowl is fairly rattling loud.
In additional of a soup-ish temper? We have that too: