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Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Leeks, and Almonds


The almond oil is so easy to make and ideal for salad dressings. It also works with any kind of nut. Use it as the base of a simple vinaigrette, with balsamic, apple cider, or white wine vinegar. Check out step-by-step photo instructions here.




cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided


cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped


cup parsley leaves with tender stems, chopped


teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


tablespoons plus ⅓ cup grated Parmesan, divided

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, large caps torn in half


large leeks, pale-green and white parts only, halved, sliced into ¾-inch pieces


garlic cloves, grated


cup vegetable stock


ounces orecchiette


Step 1

Real Talk: Let’s be honest. Boxed veg stock doesn’t taste so great. Our advice: Make this easy homemade stock, divide it up among plastic containers, and freeze it. It’s inexpensive and easy and means you’ll always have stock on hand, which will add deep, homemade flavor to your everyday cooking.

Step 2

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook almonds, tossing frequently, until lightly golden, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer almonds to a medium bowl, leaving that almondy-oil goodness in the skillet.

Step 3

Let almonds cool 10 minutes. Toss with parsley, lemon zest, and 2 Tbsp. Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 4

Add remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil to almond oil in skillet. Heat over medium-high and cook mushrooms, undisturbed, no matter how much you may wish to give them a toss, until browned on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, undisturbed, until browned on underside, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until mushrooms are tender but still retain their shape and have some bite, about 2 minutes more. Add leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until leeks are bright green and just getting tender, 4–5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a simmer.

Step 5

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8–10 minutes. Drain and transfer to skillet with mushroom mixture. Add remaining ⅓ cup Parmesan and cook, tossing, until sauce is nice and silky and creamy and lightly coats pasta, 2–3 minutes.

Step 6

Serve pasta topped with reserved almond mixture.

Step 7

Do Ahead: Pasta can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

Reviews (3)

  • I loved this recipe! So full of flavour. The crunch of the almonds and the creamy Parmesan cheese with the mushrooms was such a delicious combo. My partner and I made this one together and served with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Recommend!


    • LONDON, UK

    • 12/5/2020

  • As written, I thought this was just okay, but I wanted more. More flavor, more depth, more savoriness. I generally appreciate subtlety, but it just felt a little flat. Even the almonds and resulting almond oil didn't contribute as much oomph as I'd hoped. I've since adapted it to a recipe that does suit my tastes with a dab of white miso and smoked almonds in lieu of the oil-toasted ones here. I have also begun to use whole wheat pasta and a can of cannellini beans for extra heartiness and nutrition. So I suppose the result bears little resemblance to the original, but it did serve as my inspiration. And I did make it exactly as written the first time, which is what the 3 stars reflect.



    • 8/28/2019

  • Using almonds to flavor the oil goes a long way. This technique is really good to add flavor to rice or beans or whatever. It's fine to sub whatever mushrooms you have on hands. I made this with shallots instead of leeks too. Still tasty as hell.



    • 10/31/2017

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