For the first time in my life this week, the very same week I turned 26, I have been using a veg box from Riverford. Late to catch on, I know, but I have surprised myself at what good value they are, and how they really encourage you to include several different types of vegetables with each meal. You don’t just get carrots and cabbage (well you do but bags more too – including Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, tomatoes and more). This week alone I made a cottage pie (of sorts) with no less than five veggies, organic Riverford beef mince and a potato and Jerusalem artichoke gratin top thing. Very nice. But after a few weeks of proper winter comfort food I fancied something fresher, more spring like. It is getting warmer after all. I haven’t even put on the fire for a week now. So, here it is, using the first of the spring radishes, the last of the winter leeks and some delicate ricotta cheese. Proof that there is more to radishes than rabbit food…
Ricotta, radish and leek pasta
(serves two, generously – as all pasta dishes should)
200g fusilli pasta
Half a leek, sliced finely
Handful of radishes
2 chicken breasts, sliced into bitesize chunks
125g ricotta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
Knob of butter
2 tbsps olive oil
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, before adding the pasta. Melt the butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil and add the sliced leeks. Keep stirring, on a medium heat, until the leeks are softened but without colour. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
- Add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the chicken and fry until golden and cooked through.
- Meanwhile trim and grate the radishes, add to the leeks along with the ricotta, mint and salt and pepper to taste.
- Check the pasta and when it’s cooked, drain, and combine with the cooked chicken and ricotta, radish and leek mix. Check the seasoning, then spoon into a bowl, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve. Enjoy!