Penne with Leeks, Zucchini, and Peppers

Penne ai Porri, Zucchine e Peperoni

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta

Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2009

  • About

Occasionally, inspiration hits when you just open the refrigerator door and see what’s inside. This is one of those happy instances, and my family decreed the recipe “must go in the book!” The leeks give the sauce a sweet, rich flavor that is nicely balanced by the tanginess of the red pepper.


  • 2 medium leeks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ¾ pound zucchini
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • cup heavy cream
  • cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Cut off the root end of the leeks and trim the tough dark-green tops of the leaves. Cut into thin strips about 1½ inches long. Put the leeks in a bowl and cover with water. Swish them around to remove any dirt, then lift them out and put them with the butter and ½ cup water in a 12-inch skillet. Season with salt and place over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
  3. While the leeks are cooking, peel the pepper, core, and seed it. Cut away any white pith inside the pepper and cut into ½-inch squares. Wash the zucchini, trim the ends, and cut into ½-inch chunks.
  4. Once the liquid in the pan has evaporated, add the peppers and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. If the vegetables begin to stick to the pan before they are tender, add a couple tablespoons of water.
  5. Add about two tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the penne, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, add the cream to the vegetables and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
  7. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.