[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Pasta Sauce with Swedes and Leeks
13 April 2014
[Pasta with Sauce]

Lent proceeds apace, although the end is in sight. Pasta dishes are one of our traditional Lenten staples, and the lack of cheese to sprinkle on top really drives home what we've given up. Still and all, a good marinara on noodles is no bad thing. And yet ...

And yet, I like to mix it up a bit, if I can - toss in some other vegetables, make up a meatball substitute, and so on. Often, the inspiration for these dishes comes from what I have on hand or what is nice and fresh at my provisioners of choice. Sometimes this leads to kitchen sink pasta, which is certainly acceptable, but other times I like to show a bit more restraint.

In any case, I'd been metaphorically staring at half a largish swede in my pantry for a bit, wondering what to do with it. Starchy root vegetables and pasta are not, generally speaking, a good fit in my mind. Although you can do gnocchi with them, that's not what I wanted, and large chunks of turnip in red sauce didn't speak to me. Then I got to thinking about small chunks, or even shreds. That sounded like it might work, and might also turn the dish into a hearty meal.

I also had a leek. [Lots of pictures]

Pasta Sauce with Swedes and Leeks

Dice the onion and toss it in a pot with the olive oil to begin to sweat. Mince the garlic and add it. Put a bit of salt in, and the herbs. Keep an eye on it while you trim and grate the swede. Add the grated swede and your sauce/passata. Mix it well, cover it, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for half-an-hour or so. Longer probably won't hurt it, just check on it from time to time to make sure it's not burning.

Taste the sauce and add more salt if it needs it. Slice your leek. Add it to the sauce and stir it all up. Wait a few minutes, then start heating the water for your pasta. Then make your pasta. In total, that gives the leeks between twenty and thirty minutes in the sauce, depending on how fast your water heats up.

When the pasta is done, give it a quick drain, but don't worry about getting all the water out. The sauce is thick enough that a little extra pasta water is probably a good thing. I recommend returning the pasta to the pot, adding the sauce, and mixing it there before plating, rather than plating the pasta and dressing it with the sauce, but YMMV.

Add a nice tossed salad on the side, and you're good to go.

© 2014 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite