California Pasta with Artichokes and Almond-Citrus Pesto
Serve this tasty pasta dish with Orange and Arugula Salad with Marmalade Dressing.
- 2 leeks
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1 box frozen quartered artichoke hearts (10 ounces), defrosted or 1 can quartered artichoke hearts (14 ounces), drained
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lime zest
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley tops
- 3 tablespoons toasted slivered or blanched almonds (a small handful)
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a rounded generous handful), plus for for passing at the table
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it to a boil for the pasta.
- Trim off the root ends and top four inches of the leeks. Cut them in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Wash the leeks vigorously, separating the layers in either a colander under cold running water or in a large bowl of cold water to loosen the grit. Drain and pat dry.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and artichokes, sauté for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
- Salt the boiling pasta water and drop in the fettuccine.
- Place the citrus zests, parsley, almonds, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Turn the processor on and stream in 1/4 cup EVOO until it combines into a thick pesto sauce.
- Add the wine to the leeks and artichokes and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the pesto sauce and a ladleful of starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Toss the pasta with the sauce to coat evenly.
- Serve with Orange and Arugula Salad with Marmalade Dressing alongside and pass more cheese at the table for topping.