I had an insane week, running around to meetings all over the place. When Friday came, I just wanted some good food and a giant glass of wine. There wasn’t much in the house, but I had a head of escarole crammed in the back of the fridge that I had forgotten I bought last weekend at the farmers market. Still good! My lucky day. With a bit of pancetta and a couple of leeks on hand, I figured I could toss a quick pasta dish together.
I really think you can’t go wrong by just tossing a bunch of spring produce into a pot, and this dish proved to be no exception. Yum. Best of all, I could prep and cook the vegetables in the same amount of time it took to boil the water and cook the pasta. After just 20 minutes, I was eating my yummy spring dinner and drinking my wine. The bonus was lots of leftovers for easy weekend lunches.
Pasta with Pancetta, Escarole, and Leeks
1 pound pasta (I used linguine)
1-2 heads of escarole (1 was fine, but next time I’ll do two because I like lots of greens in my pasta)
4 ounces finely diced pancetta
2 leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of dry white wine
salt, pepper, and grated parmesan to serve
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, wash the escarole and chop into thin ribbons, and prepare the leeks and garlic.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and the pancetta. Saute for a couple minutes and add the leeks, sauting for another 5 minutes or so until they start to get soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so.
Around this point, the water should be boiling, so add your pasta.
Add the wine to the leeks, scraping up any brown bits from the pancetta from the bottom of the pan. Add the escarole, cover, and reduce heat to low. Stir every three or four minutes or so.
Just before you drain the pasta, take the lid off, add a half cup or so of the pasta water to the escarole, and continue to simmer. Drain the pasta and add it to the escarole mixture, mixing well. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve with grated parmesan. A glass of wine too – I went for St. Supery’s sauvignon blanc, perfect with the dish.