Spring Leek, Artichoke & Tarragon Linguine

Spring Leek, Artichoke & Tarragon Linguine

“Pasta with melted cheese is the one thing I could eat over and over again.”

Yotam Ottolenghi

I’m writing this a couple of weeks into Covid lockdown. As the world flips upside-down and we find ourselves staring down the barrel of isolation, I am not about to deny myself the comfort of eating pasta when I feel like eating pasta. In this house there exists a thing called “comfort-pasta” – the go-to dish on slump days and the lifter of spirits. Comfort-pasta can take on many forms, its only real requirements is that it must be: 

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Feed your soul.
  • Contain an obscene amountof parmesan. 

Day 18 of quarantine called for a comfort lunch. With 5kg of linguine in the cupboard, a fresh block pf parmesan and some handsome looking leeks to use up, I was halfway there. This is my recipe for Leek, Artichoke & Tarragon Linguine – it’s quick, easy and perfectly en vogue for springtime. Sweet leeks balance sublimely with the lemony tang of jarred artichokes hearts and fresh tarragon leaves keep the sauce vibrant and aromatic.

This recipe utilises techniques of a carbonara with the addition of egg yolks to make a silky, creamy sauce, so think of this as a veggie-friendly, slightly more nutritionally loaded carbonara. If you can’t find jarred artichokes, canned will work just as well but it is worth bearing in mind what they have been preserved in as it will affect the taste of the artichoke hearts, which will affect the taste of your pasta dish. Artichokes that have been packed in oil or brine will take on a whole new flavour, compared to those packed in water. If you can only find brined artichoke then just monitor your other salty ingredients carefully such as the capers, parmesan and your salty water for boiling the pasta.

Spring Leek, Artichoke & Tarragon Linguine

Spring Leek, Artichoke & Tarragon Linguine

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Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Think of this as a veggie-friendly, slightly more nutritionally loaded carbonara. The ultimate “comfort pasta.


  • 1 large Leek

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

  • 4-6 jarred artichoke hearts, sliced in half

  • 2 tsp capers, crushed

  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon, leaves picked

  • 1 glug olive oil, plus extra to serve

  • 150 g dried linguine or spagetti

  • 50 g parmesan, plus extra to serve, finely grated. (Use pecorino to make it veggie friendly)

  • 3 egg, yolks only (save the whites for something like a meringue)

  • salt & pepper, to seasoning

  • handful rocket leaves, washed


  • Trim, wash and and finely slice the leeks. Place a large pan on a medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil begins to warm add the garlic and leeks and cook until softened and the leeks are sweet, stirring frequently.
  • Add the artichoke heart and capers then season with salt and black pepper.
  • As the leeks are cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta whilst receiving a cup of starchy pasta water. Toss the pasta into the leek mixture and remove from the heat.
  • Allow to cool slightly before adding the parmesan and egg yolk and stir through. The pasta needs to cool so’s the egg doesn’t scramble.
  • Loosen the mix with a splash of starchy cooking water and toss well.
  • Taste and season to your desire. I like to be generous with the black pepper to contradict the sweetness of the leeks.
  • Finish by stirring through the rocket leaves, a generous grating of extra parmesan and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Devour immediately.

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