Leeks are the world's most under-rated vegetable, except by those in the know, and the Welsh. They can even play a starring role in pasta dishes.
While many people think of pasta sauces as either tomato- or cream-based, or rough equivalents, this recipe contains neither, but is as unctuous as the cream versions, and packs as much flavour as the acid-edged tomato ones.
Rigatoni with leek, mushroom and gorgonzola.
Slice one large leek finely into very thin rings. Rinse to eliminate grit. Slice half a red capsicum into fine dice. Slice six button mushrooms. Place leek, capsicum and mushrooms into a pan and cook slowly with olive oil and a little butter until the leek has 'melted' but not caramelised. The capsicum and mushrooms will look after themselves, the latter shedding a little fluid to keep the whole thing moist.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta. For this, I used rigatoni.
Drain pasta and fold through the leek 'sauce'. Top with chopped parsley.
Perfect as it is; or to raise the bar even higher, crumble gorgonzola over the top and add toasted pine nuts.
McLaren Vale Shiraz to accompany.