Whenever I go to make pasta for us, I always automatically reach for the tomatoes to make the base sauce. So when I spotted some leeks on offer in the supermarket and had some fresh broccoli left over from Sunday lunch, I thought I’d try something different for lunch last Monday.
I used farfalle in this instance, but penne, fusilli or any other similar sized pasta would work too. Cooking the pasta with a stock cube really helps to add a subtle flavour, especially when saving some of that starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce.
A quick and easy recipe, taking no longer that the time to cook the pasta and vegetables, perfect for a quick win straight after work. It was a success judging by the clean bowls left behind by three hungry toddlers. I popped what was left into the fridge in an air tight container and it was good for another five days and tasted delicious straight from the fridge; ideal if prepping a week’s worth of packed lunches in advance.
300g dried farfalle
1 vegetable stock cube
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 leek, halved and sliced
175g green beans
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
30g light philadelphia (or other cream cheese)
2 tbsp parmesan (vegetarian or regular)
Salt & pepper
100ml water, from the pasta cooking water
Boil the kettle and pop the pasta on to cook according to the packet instructions. Crumble the stock cube into the water along with the pasta.
Boil or steam your broccoli, leeks and green beans all together for around 7-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan, on a low heat. Once melted, add the chopped garlic, stir for around 30 seconds and then whisk in the flour to create a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, 100ml at a time, making sure the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. I like to use a fork but a regular whisk will work just as well. Add the lemon juice, philadephia and parmesan and stir until melted.
Drain your cooked pasta into a colander, retaining 100ml of the cooking water.
Whisk the pasta water into the sauce and season to taste. Remove from the heat and add your cooked pasta to the sauce, stirring through. Finally stir in your vegetables and torn basil leaves and serve with a sprinkling of extra parmesan.
If prepping in advance, allow to cool before covering and putting into the fridge.