Penne with Slow Braised Leeks and Crispy Shitake Pangrattato
Jamie At Home is showing re-runs again, and while watching the most recent leek episode, I decided to try this recipe out. It’s pretty simple, and prep is minimal – cutting up a few leeks and smashing/slicing some garlic cloves, I think it took about 40 minutes start to finish for this dish. Not bad for a lazy Sunday afternoon!
- 3 big leeks, outer leaves trimmed back and washed
- Olive oil
- 6 tablespoons butter, dived in 3rds
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
- A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- A wineglass of white wine
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 6 oz. prosciutto
- 1 lb. dry pasta such as penne or rigatoni
- 2 large handfuls freshly grated Parmagianno Regianno
For the Pangrattato:
- 1 small handful dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shitake
- 1/2 ciabatta bread, stale, cut into chunks
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive Oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Halve the leeks lengthways and cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices.
Heat a wide saucepan, add a splash of oil and a knob of butter, and when you hear a gentle sizzling add the sliced garlic, thyme leaves and leeks.
Move the leeks around so every piece gets coated.
Pour in the wine, season with pepper and stir in the stock. Cover the leeks with the slices of prosciutto, place a lid on the pan and cook gently for 25 to 30 minutes.
Once the leeks are tender, take the pan off the heat.
To make the pangrattato:
Pulse the mushrooms and bread with a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic cloves and the rosemary and cook for a minute, then fry the bread crumbs in the oil until golden and crisp.
Keep shaking the pan – don’t let the bread crumbs catch on the bottom. Drain on paper towels, discard the rosemary and garlic and allow the bread crumbs to cool.
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving some of the pasta water.
Remove the Prosciutto from the saucepan, slice up and stir back into the leeks.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the Parmesan and the rest of the butter.
Add the pasta to the leeks. Add a little of the cooking water if need be, to give you a silky, smooth sauce.
Serve quickly, sprinkled with some pangrattato, extra Parmesan and any leftover thyme tips.
Serve the rest of the pangrattato in a bowl on the side.