Farfalle with Saffron and Leeks

3 medium leeks, white part only
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup vegetable broth
1 pound farfalle pasta
small pinch (1/4 gram) saffron threads
8 ounces mascarpone
1/2 cup Grana Padano, freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
peas for garnish

Rinse leeks thoroughly, and slice the white part thinly. In skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add leeks and saute for about 10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add some broth if the leeks become too dry. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add pasta. While cooking pasta, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and add 1/2 cup of the pasta’s cooking water and the saffron threads. Stir well, remove from heat, set aside to let saffron release its flaver and color. In a separate bowl, mix mascarpone, Grana and white pepper. When pasta is as dente, drain and return to skillet with the sauteed leeks. Add cheese mixture and saffron butter, and saute over medium heat for 1 minute, mixing well to coat pasta. Garnish with cooked peas for color.

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