This potato-pear-leek dish sounded way to ingriguing for me to pass up. Hope you like it! And the Pasta Primavera is yet another dish in my occasional series on multi-veggie-using recipes. I've made it with many different veggie combos, and it always tastes just great. - debbie
Mashed Potatoes with Pears and Leeks
(adapted from yet another Bon Appetit magazine clipping in my vast archives!)
8-10 med. potatoes (peeled or not, as you prefer), cut in 1/2" cubes
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and also cut into 1/2" cubes
4 tbsp. butter, divided
1 C sliced leeks (white & pale green part only)
Steam potatoes & pears until very tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile,
melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in a skillet over medium heat & sauté
leeks until lightly browned & quite soft. Set aside. When potatoes
& pears are done, mash well with 3 tbsp. of the butter, adding salt
& pepper to taste. Stir in the sautéed leeks & serve.
(This would go well w/pork or chicken, and a side dish of, say, sautéed summer squash)
The key 'sauce' ingredients are simply heavy cream, fresh basil, & parmesan. To give you an idea of proportions, for a hearty meal for 4, figure about 12 oz. dried (or 1 lb. fresh) pasta and 1 C cream. Preferred pastas for this dish are fettuccine or linguine, but in a pinch you could use spaghetti, penne, or whatever ya got. Pretty much any seasonal veggie can be included in this dish; just make sure they're all cut to about the same size for a uniform look. The only other ingredients are butter/oil, and an onion (or you could use leeks!).
Some veggie options:
carrots, sliced or diced
sugar snap peas
any leafy green, ribboned
chard stalks (chop up like celery)
kohlrabi (the bulb part, peeled & cut up. Kohlrabi leaves could be included under 'any leafy green', above)
(mushrooms, although not a box ingredient, are also a good addition. I'd saute them w/the onions if I used them)
Clean, prep, and cut up all veggies. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Parboil harder veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans) briefly (about a minute) in the water you're boiling for pasta. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add pasta to same boiling water & cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, sauté a chopped onion in some butter & oil until translucent. Add the rest of the veggies, and stir/cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add cream & bring to a simmer. Drain & add cooked pasta to cream/veggies along with 12 or so chopped fresh basil leaves, and about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Serve hot.