Lemony Chicken Pasta and Creamy Leek Sauce

I am not the biggest fan of Gordon Ramsey; he is a bit too boisterous, and his food is kinda old school rich with butter and cream and expensive ingredient rich. But I recently saw this article which said he makes this 10 minute recipe every week for his family and decided to give it a try. It was more than 10 minutes for me; more like 20-25 minutes. Still, I loved the crispy sagey breadcrumbs on top and the hint of lemon in the cream sauce. The leeks add an undertone of onionish-ness. A bit rich with cream; I suppose you could try light cream or half and half. I changed the proportions of ingredients just a touch and I used ground chicken as it was on sale this week at Aldi’s. Winner winner chicken dinner; definitely making this again!

So, you can sub in any ground meat; I sure plan to try it with ground turkey as he usually does. The leeks and shallots add a delicate presence that plays so well with the rest of the ingredients. I wouldn’t mess too much with the ingredients if I were you, not the first time anyway.

Creamy Lemon Chicken and Leek Pasta


12 -14 ounces dried penne; I did 12 ounces

14-16 ounces ground chicken or turkey (16 oz for me)

4 Tbsp. mild olive oil, divided

2 banana shaped shallots; minced finely

2-3 leeks; I had one gigantic one; about 2 cups of sliced white parts; I put mine in water to soak for 5 min to get out any grit

3 garlic cloves, minced

6 sage leaves, divided

zest of one lemon

3-4 tbsp. minced parsley

3/4 cup heavy cream

Breadcrumbs: 3 of the above listed sage leaves minced, 6-7 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs; I tore up 2 small slices of gf sourdough bread

2 of the tbsp of olive oil from above

Freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve on top of each plate.


First: heat a large pot of salted water for pasta

Do some prep work. Slice up the leeks into 1/3-1/2-inch-wide sections and soak briefly in filtered water to get any grit out. Mince the peeled shallots. I put the peeled garlic through a garlic press.

Heat half the olive oil in a Dutch oven. When close to hot add the shallots and garlic. Cook 2 minutes medium heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken and 3 minced sage leaves. As that cooks add the leeks (drained first!) to boiling water. Cook a minute. Add the pasta to the leeks. Cook as long as package says. I dipped out 3-4 cups of water to decrease the volume, so it returned to a boil super fast (A little trick you might try.)

When the chicken looks done add in the cream and cook on low for a few minutes. Do not boil! While it cooks make the breadcrumbs; put 2 tbsp. oil in a smallish frying pan and when hot add the breadcrumbs and the rest of the minced sage leaves. Stir for a couple of minutes; it will clump up and brown; watch it closely: DO NOT LET BURN! Add the drained cooked pasta and leeks when the pasta is al dente. And the lemon zest. Stir. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley. To plate, put some on your plate/dish, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and some of the breadcrumbs. Enjoy!!


3 thoughts on “Lemony Chicken Pasta and Creamy Leek Sauce

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