I was actually quite impressed with this recipe – I didn’t quite know what to expect, but thought I’d give it a try – I will be making it again! Though the sauce is made with mascarpone cheese, this dish is loaded with avocados, leeks, spinach, kale, asparagus, and broccoli.
1 box linguine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup broccoli, chopped
10 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced, and cleaned (soak in water for about 10 minutes after slicing)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bag fresh spinach
1/2 bunch of kale leaves, sliced thinly
1 ripe avocado
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese + more for topping
(pasta) Step 1: Boil water for the pasta, being sure to add salt for flavor; begin on the rest of the dish while waiting for the water to boil. Remember to reserve 1 cup of water from the pasta.
(pasta) Step 2: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle olive oil into the pan. Then, add the chopped broccoli and asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to coat, then cook about 6-8 minutes (make sure the veggies are still crisp). Remove the broccoli and asparagus, setting it aside in a bowl.
(pasta) Step 3: Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the leeks and red pepper stirring well to coat and cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and kale and season with salt and pepper, stirring to coat all of the veggies. Cook and stir until the spinach and kale are wilted, about 5 or so minutes.
(pasta) Step 4: Cut open the avocado and mash until almost smooth. Add the 1 cup of reserved pasta water to the skillet with the vegetable mixture, stirring well. Add the mascarpone cheese and mashed avocado, continuing to stir until the sauce is melted and creamy. Add in the broccoli/asparagus and stir to coat. Lastly add in the freshly grated cheese. Taste and season additionally if needed.
(pasta) Step 5: Place noodles in a bowl and top with the creamy sauce and a sprinkling of the grated cheese and brown butter bread crumbs.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2-3 slices bread
(breadcrumbs) Step 1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
(breadcrumbs) Step 2: Cut the bread into strips about an inch wide. Shred the bread using the shredder attachment on your food processor. Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet in a thin layer.
(breadcrumbs) Step 3: Bake for about 6-8 minutes, shaking and tossing every 2 minutes or so. You don’t want the crumbs to be brown, just crispy, so be careful not to over-bake.
(breadcrumbs)Step 4: Add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly while it gently bubbles. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown, take off of the heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds. Let the butter stand for 2 minutes, then add in the panko breadcrumbs and stir well to coat and combine. Set aside.