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California Pasta with Artichokes and Almond-Citrus Pesto


  • 2 leeks

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • 1 box frozen quartered artichoke hearts (10 ounces), defrosted or 1 can quartered artichoke hearts (14 ounces), drained

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound fettuccine

  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon lime zest

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley tops

  • 3 tablespoons toasted slivered or blanched almonds (a small handful)

  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a rounded generous handful), plus for for passing at the table

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it to a boil for the pasta. Trim off the root ends and top four inches of the leeks. Cut them in half lengthwise, then into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Wash the leeks vigorously, separating the layers in either a colander under cold running water or in a large bowl of cold water to loosen the grit. Drain and pat dry. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and artichokes, sauté for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Salt the boiling pasta water and drop in the fettuccine. Place the citrus zests, parsley, almonds, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in a food processor and season with salt and pepper. Turn the processor on and stream in 1/4 cup EVOO until it combines into a thick pesto sauce. Add the wine to the leeks and artichokes and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the pesto sauce and a ladleful of starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Toss the pasta with the sauce to coat evenly. Pass more cheese at the table for topping. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to