Zesty Leek and Spinach Tagliatelle with a Garlic and Parmesan Crumb

Serves 2

Prep time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 1 – 1½h

Throughout the month of Tishrei, when we celebrate the High Holy Days, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, there are dozens of Yom Tov and Shabbat meals. The Torah tells us that it is a mitzvah to make these days of rejoicing and the Prophet Isaiah that we should make Shabbat “a delight”. Talmudic sources draw a connection between food and delight, and implore us to eat the finest meals within our means. Historically, when fish and meat were costly luxuries, these became the standards for a fine meal, reserved for these days of celebration. Many have subsequently assumed the custom of eating a heavily meaty diet on Shabbat and Yom Tov, though there is no absolute obligation to do so, and there are those who feel that in 2023, when meat and fish are abundantly available, and good cheese costs almost as much as a chicken, a delicious pasta dish topped with a fine quality cheese can be every bit as delightful and luxurious!

This tasty tagliatelle showcases two of the Simanim at their best, making it a superb choice for a milky (or parev) Rosh Hashanah meal.


For the Pasta 

  • 150-200g good quality Dry Tagliatelle (or other pasta of your choice)
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 100g (approx) Fresh Spinach 
  • 1 whole Leek, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, sliced
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Fresh Parsley (for garnish)
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1 slice of Challah, toasted
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Garlic Powder


For the Crumb Topping (optional)

  1. Crumble the toasted challah onto a lined baking tray and push the crumbs together.
  2. Season with a sprinkle of garlic powder and top with grated parmesan.
  3. Cook under a hot grill for 2 minutes or until golden brown, then allow to cool.
  4. Break up the cheesy crumbs and set aside. 

For the Pasta

  1. Warm the olive oil gently over a medium-low flame, and add the sliced garlic and leek.
  2. Add a large pinch of salt and fry for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. 
  3. Meanwhile, fill a separate pot with boiling water, salt well and put on pasta. (If using fresh pasta, adjust timings accordingly).
  4. Into the pan of sautéed garlic and leeks, add approx 100g baby spinach and the zest of one lemon.
  5. Continue cooking until spinach has wilted down and remove from heat.
  6. Remove pasta when al dente and spoon into the pan, retaining a little of the pasta water with it.
  7. Mix the pasta and sauce in the pan to combine and warm through completely, then plate.
  8. Drizzle over a little of the remaining oil and grate/shave over a generous amount of parmesan or grana padano cheese.
  9. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper, a little fresh parsley and extra lemon zest (optional).

Photo by Yaffa Judah

Zesty Leek and Spinach Tagliatelle with a Garlic and Parmesan Crumb