Leek + Fennel Casarecce
Cook Time: 45 MINUTES
Serves: 2 to 4 PEOPLE
- 1 box Banza Casarecce
- 1 lb leeks, trimmed, white and green parts divided and thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved
- 1/4 cup water
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (about 3 ounces; 85g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
- Prepare Sauce: Heat a pan to medium-high. Add white and light green spring onions, fennel, and water. Season with salt and cook, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until vegetables just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Cook until vegetables are very soft and beginning to break down, about 8 minutes longer.
- Add remaining green parts of spring onions. Cook until well-incorporated with vegetable mixture and just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add cream, bring to a simmer, and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and emulsified, about 1 minute. Season lightly with salt. Wipe out saut̩ pan and transfer blended sauce back to the pan, passing through a fine-mesh strainer if desired. Warm sauce over low heat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the pan to prevent skin from forming.
- Cook Banza: Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook casarecce until al dente. Reserve pasta cooking water.
- Combine: Transfer pasta to pan along with 1/2 cup pasta water, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring rapidly until sauce has thickened slightly and pasta is well-coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, season generously with pepper, add Parmigiano, and stir rapidly to combine. Divide pasta into serving bowls and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. Serve immediately, passing more cheese at the table.