“Oh wow” is exactly the reaction I’m going for when testing for Disney Dinners recipes and that’s exactly what Irene and I said when we first ate a bite of this phenomenal pasta. With its delicate leek flavor, garden fresh basil, and salty parmesan cheese, it’s effortlessly amazing. It’s the Serena van der Woodsen of side dishes.
I came up with this pasta for my 101 Dalmatians dinner party. I wanted something that felt like the English countryside (leeks fit the bill perfectly) that was mostly white for black sesame seeds to “pop” like Dalmatian spots. It’s very easy too – you basically just caramelize some leeks (I put them on the stove with butter right before the party and they were pretty much perfectly when I toddled into the kitchen to make the main course), boiled pasta, then stirred in some cream, basil, salt and pepper, and parmesan to make a perfect buttah sauce. Are you drooling yet?
For my diner party, I served this with my Frying Pan Chicken from Disney Dinners: Tangled and Rainbow Roasted Carrots from Disney Dinners: Frozen, making this the first ever Disney Dinners mashup! I thought cozy chicken thighs and carrots with a leek pasta felt so very English countryside and it all went together really well. Plus, the chicken and carrots cook at the same temperature for about the same amount of time for easy entertaining.
While the sesame seeds were added mostly for the Dalmatian spot look, I loved the subtle flavor and crunch. You could of course leave them out if you prefer. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. I know I will make this dish again and again!
101 Dalmatians Pasta
1 box orzo (use about 3/4)
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup heavy cream
4 sprigs fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Black sesame seeds
- Trim ends off of leeks. Slice in half lengthwise. Set in a shallow bowl, cover with water, and swish around. Drain water and repeat a couple of times until the leeks are thoroughly cleaned. Drain and pat dry. Slice sleeks.
- In a large skillet, cook leeks in butter until slightly browned. (Low and slow is best!)
- While leeks are caramelizing, cook orzo according to package directions.
- Lower heat, add cream, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste, chopped basil, and Parmesan cheese. Let cook and thicken until pasta is ready.
- Drain pasta, then add to skillet and gently stir to incorporate the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Note: I topped this dish with my Frying Pan Chicken and served dinner with a side Roasted Rainbow Carrots for my dinner party.