2mediumleeks (250g )cleaned and sliced. I use the white end and some of the light green end.
3cups200g shiitake mushroomswiped clean, tough stems removed and roughly sliced.
2 - 3cloves ofgarlicminced
½ cup120 ml of white wine
3 to 4 sprigs of thymeleaves plucked
1heaped tbspall-purpose/plain flour
1heaped tspDijon mustard
1heaped tbsp creme fraicheI used low-fat creme fraiche
½cup40g vegetarian hard Italian cheese. I used pecorino.finely grated plus more for serving
1cupof water from the cooking pasta
8oz250g pappardelle pastaor pasta of your choice
½tspsea salt+ more for cooking the pasta
¼tsp cracked black pepper
2tbspfinely chopped flat-leaf parsleyoptional
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large sautè pan.Add the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt and cook gently over a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes stirring regularly. The leeks should be very soft.
Add 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp of thyme leaves and 3 cups of sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.Turn up the heat and pour in the wine, the wine should sizzle when it hits the pan. Turn the heat down and let the leeks and mushrooms soak up the wine.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Add 1 heaped tbsp of plain/all-purpose flour, 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard and 1 heaped tbsp of creme fraiche to the leeks and mushrooms and stir well. Stir in the grated cheese and stir until melted.
Now slowly start to add about 1 cup of water from the pasta to the leek and mushrooms.Add about ¼ of the water and keep stirring until it is a thick sauce. Continue this until you have added all the water and you have a creamy, silky sauce. Check the seasoning now, add more salt or pepper if needed.
Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until all the pasta is covered in sauce.
Serve immediately with shavings of pecorino cheese, some chopped parsley and cracked black pepper.
Leeks - I use all of the white parts of the leek (except the roots) and some of the pale green part. Any remaining leek can be used to make your own vegetable stock.
Mushrooms - If you can't find shiitake mushrooms, chestnut or brown mushrooms work really well too. If you are using shiitake, make sure to remove any part of the stem that feels tough.
Storing/Freezing/Reheating - I do not recommend freezing this dish. If you have any leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 2 days. To reheat, add the cooked dish to a sautè pan with a little hot water, stir continuously until it is piping hot. You could also add a little more creme fraiche if you wish.
Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving of four and does not include extra cheese as garnish. It is calculated on 565g of cooked pasta for the entire dish, not the dry weight listed. If you wish to be more accurate please weigh your pasta before you serve it.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.