At this time of year I feel like I have one foot firmly planted in optimism about spring. However, the other foot is dragging quite slowly behind, unable to escape winter’s firm grip. We get a few warm days and the mountain of snow in front of my house melts a bit, and then wham, a mini blizzard.
This pasta bridges the gap between winter and spring perfectly. Representing winter we have browned Brussels sprouts. In the other corner, leeks and lemon lighten everything up. Everything comes together to create a deeply satisfying dish.Trim the Brussels sprouts and set aside the larger leaves that come off easily. Halve the sprouts, or quarter, if large.Slice half the leek into thin rings. Coarsely chop the other half of the leek. The leek circles and halved sprouts get browned in a pan. Place sprouts cut side down and leave them alone for 3-4 minutes, so they can get some colour on them. There’s flavour in the brown!Rigatoni is a great choice for this dish. Penne would also work quite well. Don’t forget to heavily salt the cooking water for the pasta. Just before draining the pasta, scoop off a cup of that starchy cooking water. You will need it to create the sauce for this pasta.An extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of Parmesan cheese finish off this dish perfectly. A glass of wine is always welcome.