Leeks make me happy. Is that weird? They're the perfect little sister to the onion and they just make me happy. They're mild and so versatile...especially in a pasta dish. We used a bulk Italian sausage in this meal but you can certainly substitute a chicken or turkey sausage. Dive in to dinner!
1 pound pasta (we use whole wheat rotini)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, either hot or sweet (your choice)
3 leeks, washed (see below) and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
8-10 basil leaves, torn or chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil, drop pasta and cook until al dente (7-8 minutes).
Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, heat a couple of tablespoons of EVOO. Once hot, add in sausage to brown (about 6 minutes). (Don't mess with it too much...let it brown and caramelize without you stirring it too often). Add in leeks and garlic and saute another 5 minutes. Add in chicken stock and lots of S&P and de-glaze the pan (scrape up the little bits off the bottom of the pan), lower the heat to medium-low and simmer 3-5 minutes. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.
Drain pasta and add to sausage mixture. Stir in cheese and basil.
Here's the deal with washing your leeks...leeks are grown in sandy soil you can't just wash the outsides, you have to wash the insides too. The easiest way is to chop the leeks for dinner, place them in a colander in your sink and then run lots of cold water over the tops. Use a paper towel to dry lightly pat them dry. That's it!