I have always known that one pot pasta would make a reappearance here eventually. My one pot spaghetti alla puttanesca recipe is the most popular recipe on this site. So good! If you haven’t tried a one pot pasta dish, in general, before – you should!
If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the other day that I found some amazing vegetables at the farmers’ market (I just had to look up where to correctly place the apostrophe in “farmers”). Leeks, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic scapes (!!), radishes, kohlrabi, strawberries… all local! Summer is almost here 🙂
With a whole assortment of gorgeous late spring vegetables, I knew I was going to have to make some kind of salad or pasta dish (or both). I thought back to the one pot pasta puttanesca and realized that the light, mild sauce that forms in one pot pasta dishes would be the perfect vehicle for the delicately-flavored garlic scapes, zucchini and leeks. Figuring that tomatoes might muddle the flavors a little, I skipped on those and instead cut the vegetable broth with white wine, lemon juice, and almond milk, and I toned down the spices a little bit from last time too. So when I say ‘sauce’ I’m still referring to what cooks up in the single pot along with everything else! Easy peasy.
Zucchini and I don’t have the best history with each other, but I think that this method actually cooks it really nicely! The subtle flavors allow the garlic scapes and leeks to shine, as well. I wanted to really quickly talk about my preferred way to prep those two ingredients for this dish, since garlic scapes are weird, and leeks can be very dirty.
(If you can’t get your hands on some garlic scapes then substitute 2 cloves of minced garlic, and toss the garlic with the oil along with the leeks.)
How to clean and prep leeks: Cut off the roots. Slice the leeks into thin discs (it’s OK if they start to fall apart). If any of the outer leaves start to fall off of the trunk as you go, remove them. You want to keep the white and light green parts of the leek; my rule of thumb for when to stop is when you can no longer see visible moisture on the inside when you cut it. Roughly chop the leeks to cut them a bit smaller. Gather them all in a small bowl and fill it to the top with water. Agitate the leeks underwater a bit, drain off most of the water, and repeat one more time. Finally, drain off the water in a colander and you’re done!
How to clean and prep garlic scapes: For garlic scapes, you really just need to give them a good rinse to clean them, and pat them down to dry them off. Cut off the little bulb at the end of each garlic scape, and everything past it. Remove a teeny tiny bit off of the other end as well. Then simply cut it into ~2 inch segments and you’re done!
Zucchini is more common so I’ll skip that one, but here are instructions if you need them. I sincerely hope you’ll try this or my other one pot pasta dish; it’s popular for a reason! It’s easy, has minimal cleanup, and it’s on the table pretty quickly!
One Pot Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic Scapes, and Leeks in a White Wine Lemon Sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 leeks white and light green parts (see notes)
- 12 oz whole wheat rigatoni (see notes)
- 1 small bunch garlic scapes (see notes)
- 1 large zucchini cut into quarter moons
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt scant (adjust depending on how salty your broth is - mine was not salty)
- pinch ground black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon zest loosely packed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white wine of choice
- 1/2 cup plain , unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- fresh basil
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks (and minced garlic if substituting for the garlic scapes). Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks are somewhat softened.
Add the pasta, garlic scapes, zucchini, spices, and lemon zest. Pour the lemon juice, white wine, almond milk, and vegetable broth over the top.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Keep partially covered, and stir frequently, cooking until the pasta is done to your liking and the liquid is thickened - about 7-10 minutes.
- Add salt to taste. Serve topped with fresh basil. The sauce will thicken up a little more once cooled.
To use white, instead of whole wheat pasta, increase the liquid by about 1 cup (please note that I haven't tested yet with this recipe, but a similar substitution has worked in other recipes). Other pasta shapes should also work. My opinion is that spaghetti/linguine are the best choice, since the more textured pasta shapes can get slightly gummy - they still taste great, though.
If you intend to use this for leftovers then I would recommend adding another small drizzle of olive oil to the cooking liquid, to help keep the pasta from sticking together when it cools.
In the blog post I describe how to clean and prep leeks and garlic scapes if you don't know how.
If you don't have access to garlic scapes, then feel free to substitute 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and add it at the same time as the leeks.
Shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays.