Loose Meat and Fast Pasta

Something that plagues me (and something I need to remember next time I get down- if this is one of my biggest problems I’m probably living the good life) is storage of all the loose bits of ground meat in my freezer. I have bags and bags of half pounds of ground beef or turkey or whatnot, and yes, I sharpie on the freezer bag the contents and date, but it always rubs off. Lately what I’ve been doing is tearing off the label from the original packaging and sticking it inside the freezer bag so it’s visible- y’all, it’s way easier to read and you can see what it is and the approximate date. It’s a lazy person’s solution but it is working.

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Sidenote, if you are on pinterest and want to know what I am having for dinner, you can follow my Dinner Tonight board, updated slightly more often than this blog.

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Lately I have been obsessed with Sally Schneider’s Pasta with Leeks, Pepper and Aged Goat Cheese. Any pasta where the sauce cooks in the time it takes to boil water/cook the pasta is good with me, and the ingredients here keep well so you can always have the fixings handy in your fridge. And it’s a mere 9 Weight Watchers Points Plus.

  • 1 lb leeks
  • 1 1/2 ounces pancetta
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 ounces orecchiette
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated aged goat cheese (Sally recommends fancy cheeses I’ve never heard of like Coach Farm grating stick, which I imagine you can find in New York but I just use a goat gouda from Trader Joe’s)

Slice off the green leek tops and root end. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash well. Slice the leeks into thin crescents.

Put a big pot of water on to boil.

Cook the pancetta over low heat for 8 minutes until crispy. Remove the pancetta to a plate or bowl. Add the leeks and water and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring every now and then for about 8 more minutes (the water should boil at some point during this process- when it does, salt it well, toss in the orecchiette and cook until al dente, about 8 or 9 minutes). Uncover and continue to cook until the water has all evaporated. Remove from the heat.

When the pasta is ready, drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return the drained pasta to the empty pot. Stir in the leeks, pancetta, reserved water and cheese and toss over moderate heat until the cheese is melted. Pepper liberally and serve at once.

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One Response to Loose Meat and Fast Pasta

  1. Jana says:

    This sounds delicious – thank you for posting it!

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