A few weeks ago I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from work, with no dinner plans. I bought the veggies that looked the freshest–spinach and leeks. When I got home Derek and I looked for recipes. Derek thought that the spinach and leek would make a nice tart, but we didn’t have much cheese and I didn’t have the energy to make a crust. Instead we went with pasta. I was inspired by this BBC recipe, but I left off the blue cheese, cut the amount of pasta, and subbed yogurt for the crème fraîche. Unfortunately I didn’t write down exactly what I did at the time, so some of the measurements below are just my best guess.
- 1.85 ounces sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not packed in oil)
- 1? Tbs. butter
- 1? Tbs. olive oil
- 2? large leeks, total weight of the edible part about 14 ounces (~4 cups thinly sliced)
- 1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/2? pound whole wheat penne rigate
- 225 gram bag spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
- Soak the sun dried tomatoes in 1/2 cup boiling water. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
- Melt the butter with the oil in a 12 inch skillet. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt, and splash in a little hot water. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- When the leeks are done, add the mustard and mix. Add in the spinach leaves, cover, and turn off the heat.
- Cook the pasta in salted water. Drain the pasta.
- At this point the tomatoes should be soft. Remove from the water, reserving the soaking liquid. Slice the tomatoes and add them to the vegetables with 1/2 cup of yogurt. When the pasta is done add it to the sauce as well, adding enough of the tomato soaking liquid to make the sauce coat the pasta. Heat gently and serve immediately.
The dish came out surprisingly well, especially considering how badly my improvised “creamy pastas” usually turn out. It was also quite filling. I was stuffed after just a small serving. I’d definitely try something like this again.
In tagging this recipe I tried to figure out what “season” leeks are. It appears that they can be “in season” nearly year-round, but I’d like some gardeners to confirm that. Apparently the Autumn leeks can be left in the ground through a mild winter, and picked anytime. There are also leek varieties that mature in the Spring and Summer.
I’m not positive when spinach grows here in Germany, but in Western Pennsylvania we used to get it in our CSA box in Spring and in Fall (where Spring meant June and early July!). I’m guessing the German climate and growing seasons are similar.