Garlic, not so much

There are people that will not date a certain someone because they don’t have the job or the house or the cash. I remember a girl in college who said to me that she wouldn’t marry a man unless he had good hands and good ankles. I like hands and ankles, a job is OK, real estate and cash I have issues with, because I don’t like it when it comes down to you or the real estate and cash, but I had to end a relationship once when that person told me he would eat no garlic. I got up from the table right there in the restaurant and said, “I have to go now.”
Just in case you have to be polite about it–dinner guests or in-laws–I made a pasta last night that will do the job, and the secret is leeks. If you can find leeks at the farmer’s market, even better, because a fresh, slender leek is a delicious leek. Chop off the dark green ends (leaving some green) and the roots. Slice each leek down the center lenghthwise, and cross wise into three inch pieces. Let them soak in a bowl of cold water, rubbing them gently to release the sand. Lift them from the water, and check to be sure they are clean. Get a pot of salted water going for the farfalle. In a heavy saute pan, add a few tablespoons of the best olive oil you can find. (If you have to, add a whole uncut clove of garlic until it is golden, and then get it out of there and throw it away; it will have done it’s work.) Throw in a handful of a mix of fresh parsley, basil leaves and thyme sprigs. You don’t really have to cut any of the herbs, but you can tear them up if you like. Let them go dark green without browning. Slice the leeks into half inch pieces and add those to the pan. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook over a low/medium heat until the leeks are softened. Taste for deliciousness. Add less than half a teaspoon of lemon zest and a tablespoon of unsalted butter OFF THE HEAT. When your pasta is al dente, drain well (For nine ounces of pasta you probably want three whole slender leeks) and toss with the leeks. Taste for salt, pepper, and if it needs it just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Add hand grated parmesan and serve.

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