• Pasta With Leek And Mascarpone

    by  •  • Featured, Recipes

    It all got a bit Waitrosey

    The golden rule of weight loss is “no white at night.”

    This is an incandescent violation of the golden rule.

    Eating great, heaping bowls of this autumnal goodness is a flagrant act of protest against the inevitability of our human physiology.

    If you’re wondering why this recipe gets a much more hyperbolic introduction that most of the rest it’s because I invented it. Completely. Based on nothing. And it is smooth, subtle, comforting awesomeness.

    I know a lot of you will want to replace the mascarpone with something more typical of pasta, like ricotta, but don’t. The whole point here is to combine extremely subtle flavours in perfect ratios -you’ll even notice that olive oil has been eschewed for butter. Go with it.


    • 300 grams fiorelli pasta.
    • 400 grams large leeks. That’s about 3 large trimmed ones.
    • 250 grams mascarpone. That’s one helpful Waitrose tub.
    • Butter. To cook the leeks in. Discretionary amount (ie loads).
    • 4 sprigs thyme. Leaves only.
    • Grated Parmesan. To serve.


    1. Trim the leeks on a diagonal and wash thoroughly. They’re grown in mud so be vigorous about this. I manually ‘push’ them apart so I end up with a colander full of angular rings.

    2. Put on a large pan of salted water. Use more salt than you usually would as these are quite subtle flavours. You want the salt to come through on the pasta. Then heat maybe 50 grams of butter on a low to medium heat and tip the leeks in. Season.

    4. Stir through the thyme leaves as these cook down. These need about twenty minutes so you have all the time in the world to angrily remove the little thyme leaves and throw them in, stirring continuously. Once it boils, tip the pasta into the water.

    This gives you two things to stir at once. Hooray! This is your signal to grate the Parmesan too.

    5. Tip the cooked pasta into the leek pan. Fiorelli should take about 8 minutes to get to al dente. Then tip in the entire tub of mascarpone. Check seasoning.

    Stir together as angels appear around you to congratulate you on your awesome subtlety.

    6. Ladle into bowls, top with Parmesan. Drop a couple of leftover thyme sprigs on the top to give the vague semblance of greenery in an otherwise blissfully white slanket of comfort food.

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