Well Dined


Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta

Leeks are a fantastic spring vegetable. They have a light onion and garlic flavor, similar to shallots, but much milder. Their smaller cousins, ramps, have a more intense flavor but a shorter peak season - take advantage of them when you can find them. I like to add leeks to pizzas, pastas, soups, and casseroles. Here I combined them with spinach and shrimp in a lovely spring pasta dish.

Leeks grow up through the earth, resulting in dirt becoming trapped in their many tight layers. The easiest way to clean them is to cut them into half moons and soak them in water.

Swish the leeks around with your hand, then let the dirt settle to the bottom of the bowl - the leeks will float. Scoop the clean leeks out from the top of the water and let drain in a colander for a few minutes.

Saute the leeks in butter.

Add shrimp and lemon zest and cook until opaque.

Use short, firm pasta - gemelli is my favorite.

Add spinach and cream to the pasta, mix in the shrimp and leek mixture. Enjoy!

Shrimp, Leek, and Spinach Pasta
adapted from Real Simple

12 oz gemelli, fusilli, or some other short pasta
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), cut into half-moons
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 oz baby spinach

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot, do not rinse.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened, 3 - 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp is opaque throughout, 4 - 5 minutes more. Add the cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pasta in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 - 2 minutes. Add the shrimp mixture and the spinach to the pasta and toss to combine.

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  1. OMG. This looks awesome. I am totally going to go buy some leeks!

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