Cavatelli with Artichokes, Olives & Leeks

I happened to have another pasta on hand for this, so I didn’t use cavatelli. This was pretty good, although I have learned that I no longer care for tarragon. Isn’t it funny how your tastes change? This was easy to make.

rating: 8

Cavatelli with Artichokes, Olives & Leeks
(Everyday with Rachael Ray, Oct. 2016)

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 box (9 oz.) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and sliced lengthwise
2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon zest plus about 1/4 cup juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock (I used vegetarian “chicken” stock)
1/2 cup white wine
1 pound dried or fresh cavatelli
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a handful), plus more to pass at the table
1/3 cup fresh tarragon (a handful), coarsely chopped
EVOO, for drizzling

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
On a work surface, using the flat side of a chef’s knife, crush the olives [1]. Pull out the pits [2], then chop the olives [3].
Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high. Add the olive oil, two turns of the pan. Melt the butter into the oil. When the butter foams, add the artichokes and leeks; cook, stirring often, until the leeks soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper; stir until the garlic softens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olives, stock and wine; reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer, stirring often, while the pasta cooks.
Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until almost al dente. Reserve a ladle of the starchy cooking water; drain the pasta. Toss the pasta, cooking water, lemon juice, 1/3 cup cheese and the tarragon with the sauce; season. Drizzle with EVOO. Pass more cheese at the table for topping.

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