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Taking a Leek

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Leeks are a delicious and delightful fall vegetable that often does not get to be the star of the show. From adding it to various roasts, to putting it in a pie, leeks tend to be the backup singers. This recipe has leeks front and center in every aspect. Originally, I saw this dish on social media but there was not recipe that came with it. However, I was motivated to make it my own.

Ingredients you'll need

  • 5-7 fresh leeks

  • 1 lemon zested and juiced

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 1 head of garlic chopped

  • 2tsp black peppercorns

  • 4 dry bay leaves

  • 2tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 lbs 00 flour

  • 5 eggs

  • 6-8 cups water

  • 1/2 bottle of white wine

  • 1/2cup of heavy cream

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1 large pasta pot

  • 1 rolling pin (kitchenaid pasta roller attachment can work as well)

First, we need to make a leek broth. Clean all the leaks in their whole form. Chop the tops off of all the leaks and chop them finely and place in the pasta pot along with the black peppercorns, bay leaves, coriander, garlic, and water.

Cook that on medium-high without the top on for a good 1-1.5hrs until the broth becomes dark and the liquid is reduced significantly

Once the broth is ready, and it's the consistency you like, drain and set aside to cool.

Next, it's time to prep the leek filling. Preheat your oven to 375F. In a Dutch Oven, take all but 1 leek, cut them lengthwise down the middle, and quickly sear them in a hot pan with a little bit if the butter until they are brown. I did not do this step, but I think it would've helped bring more leek flavor out in this filling.

Next add half of the leek broth and pad with about 3-4Tbsp of the butter.

Leave the pot uncovered, and place in the middle rack of your oven to roast for roughly 2hrs.

While that roasts, make the pasta! Take your 00 Flour and make an egg well in the middle. Place all 5 eggs and mix in the flour slowly.

Once the flour is fully incorporated, knead the dough until it is smooth and bounces back when you press lightly on it.

Let this rest while you prepare the filling.

One the leeks have finished roasting, put them directly into a blender with another 3Tbsp of butter. Add the lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth then let rest and cool fully. Place the mixture into a ziplock or piping bag.

Next roll out the pasta to level 6 on the pasta roller attachment if using a kitchenaid. If you are rolling by hand, it should be almost thin enough to see light through it. To make the agnolotti can be tricky.

As you'll see in my many attempts, it took me a while to get the hang of it. I tried piping one straight line, or piping in pockets. I found the pockets to be the better option since pinching the dough together means that some of the filling will spill out.

Once you've rolled the filling inside the dough, cut the dough into 1" long rectangles. Preheat the oven to 220F and place each pasta on a baking sheet and bake for around 20min until dry.

Next work on your sauce! Take the remainder of what's left of the broth, add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and 1Tbsp of butter and reduce until it's thick .

Start a pot of pasta water, and boil your agnolotti. Finish them in the sauce and toss to coat.

Finally, chop your last leek finely and put in a high lipped pan with cold, neutral, oil (avocado oil or vegetable oil). Fry the leeks and then add to the top of your dish for a nice crunch.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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