spaghetti with garlic, leeks, chilies, tomato, and parsley


This dish has appeared on this site at least twice before, which is a testament to its appeal, but also to its usefulness. I always have a number of types of pasta on hand, and several kinds of dried chilies, and of course I’m never without parsley, but tomatoes and leeks are a sometime thing, and sometimes they can’t wait any longer to be part of an entrée.

That, and a desire for an uncomplicated single-dish meal, was the background to this simple dinner.


  • one large lightly-smashed Rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm and one and a half dried chilies from Buon Italia, sautéed together in olive oil until the garlic browned, the chilies removed, and 6 smallish leeks from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, trimmed, split, washed, and sliced, added to the garlic oil and stirred until they wilted, freshly-ground black pepper and 5 Maine Backyard Farms tomatoes from Whole Foods added to the pan and cooked, stirring occasionally until the leeks appeared to began to brown, the sauce tossed with about 9 ounces of Setaro ‘spaghetti chitarra’ cooked al dente, and then more olive oil, some reserved pasta water, and a generous amount of chopped parsley from Phillips Farm
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscan) white, Vernaccia di San Gimignano D.O.C.G. 2014
  • the music was Bach’s viola di gamba/cello suites [on “original and unoriginal instruments” – Louise Dubin], a part of the WKCR Bach Fest‘s ‘gamba show’