I groan when I read pasta recipes. And not in a good way.
Pasta is my junk food. It’s the meal of least resistance, code for – I’m tired and I want something to fill me up and in my tummy in 15 minutes.
When I was an accidental vegetarian (I’d stopped eating meat but couldn’t afford fish), too often the unimaginative and nutritionally negligent spaghetti Napoli was the only menu item on offer. I grew resentful of pasta and the arrogant chefs who made it their only vegetarian item.
But I digress. The following dish is neither boring nor vegetarian. It is deliciousness personified and has earned it’s place as one of the few pasta recipes on this blog.
Leek and smoked eel pasta
1 large leek, sliced in 2-3cm lengths
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 tsp lemon zest
1 tab capers
8 cornichons (that’s mini gherkins to you Bridget Jones), roughly sliced
Large handful parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 a smoked eel, sliced into bite sized chunks
In a large pan on low heat, slow cook the leeks in olive oil until soft. Ideally, cover a heavy fry pan and cook on a heat diffuser mat for about 30 minutes. While that gets underway prepare your eel. When the leeks are half cooked, add the garlic. Now put on the pasta (gluten-free of course). In the time it takes to prepare the pasta, turn your attention back to the pan. Add the cornichons, capers, parsley and lemon zest to the leeks. Cook for a couple of minutes and then stir in the eel. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a few grounds of black pepper, then stir though the cooked pasta.
The leek and eel combination is loose enough to moisten the pasta. Hold your horses with the salt, the smoked eel negates the need to add any. All up, this is a delicious, fragrant pasta dish, that boots the ubiquitous Napoli back into the sea.
Labels: can make gluten-free, dairy-free, eel, leeks, pasta, recipe, smoked eel