Pasta is one of the easiest meals to create from both what you have on hand(pantry staples) and with what seasonal vegetables are available. Often for us this means vegetarian pasta dishes. While I am no longer a full time vegetarian, we try to eat a Mediterranean diet focussed on seasonal produce, not meat. Because we try to avoid most dairy and eggs due to allergies, often what I create is in fact Vegan. This dish was created on a cold winters day. I had just picked up locally grown leeks from the Food Co-op in our area and was craving pasta(always). By using a whole grain or in this case grain free chickpea pasta, the dish becomes much heartier than if you used a "white" pasta. Traditionally only the white part of the leek is used in recipes, however I love the variation in shades of green of the whole leek( plus I hate waste), so I always use most of the leek.
Cut the root end of leek off and about 1 1/2 inches off the green end. Slice the leek in half vertically, then slice horizontally into rings. Place the sliced leek in a bowl of water. Swish the chopped leek with your fingers to remove the dirt that gets caught in the layers. Leave to soak for 5 minutes or so. Make sure the dirt is removed and then drain and pat dry.
Place a large pot or hot water to boil for the pasta. Make sure you salt your pasta water. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes or so, until fragrant. Add the minced chili; stir. Then add all of the cleaned and dried leeks. Sauté for about 20 minutes or until softened.
Once the pasta noodles have cooked add them to the leeks along with the lemon zest and juice and the chopped parsley. Add sea salt to taste. If you wish you can add the vegan cheese or pecorino.