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!!

Zucchini Corn Pasta

Summer is high and the produce is plentiful. Folks who are tired of the same old stuff made out of y our cherry tomatoes and squash should consider this dish. And it is an excellent use of corn on the cob; cooked and cut off. A certain famous lady chef whose name is Padma is credited with this recipe. I saw it on fb but they added corn and cherry tomatoes. I actually couldn’t find the recipe; link broken so I recreated it for myself. You can modify it as you like; my goddaughter tried it with roasted poblano peppers in it! Nice idea. Mine was lushly buttery and the corn was perfect. Every time I bit into a tomato it burst in my mouth into a delightful tomato treat.

Don’t skip the squash; it isn’t that squashy tasting; the other flavors are there and it is a symphony of summer produce. Good quality fresh sweet corn is critical. Use more cheese, or less, use vegan cheese! Fake butter if you must. Or Swap butter for olive oil if you want but I believe the butter to be a critical flavor ingredient.  Let me know what variations you try!

I served it with oven baked chicken thighs cooked in paprika, lemon, onion and garlic. And some great homemade focaccia and my garden steamed beans. Any summer protein will be awesome with this.

I just added the corn.
Tomatoes on board!
Fresh pasta added, I know it looks blah but trust me it was delish!

Zucchini Corn Pasta


4 cups shredded summer squash; I used a mixture of 50/50 zucchini and trombocini Italian long squash

2 ears of fresh corn

2 or 3 shallots; about 1/3 cup = chopped

4-6 tbsp butter

1 tbsp. EVOL

2 garlic cloves

1 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes

½ -2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

½ lb fettucine (gf for me!)


Shred squash on large hole of grater; put in a strainer and let drain for 15-45 minutes.

Heat a big pot of water for the pasta. Steam corn in ¼ cup water in covered large frying pan for 6-7 min. Let cool; you are going to slice off the corn with a large sharp knife.

Cook your pasta one minute less than the directions on the packaging. I used some fresh pasta from Aldi’s so I only cooked it 4-5 minutes. Time it to be done about when you add the cherry tomatoes to the sauce.  Save ½ cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

Chop shallots, add to the big frying pan from the corn which you dumped out the water and heated with the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the butter. Cook the shallots 3-4 minutes.  Add the summer squash; I added the trombocini first as it cooks a tad longer than zucchini. Add 2 tbsp butter and 2 good sized garlic cloves. Cook 4 or 5 minutes, stirring to make sure nothing burns. While it cooks cut the corn off the cob. Add the corn, stir well, add the cherry tomatoes. Cook 2-3 minutes until they are warmed. Add the parmesan cheese. Stir well, add some hot pasta water and two more tbsp of butter (if desired) to thin it to your taste. Add salt and pepper as you wish. Eat immediately. Enjoy!

Note: I whipped this up on the fly so my cooking times are rough estimates. Next time I make it I will watch the time and update this recipe as necessary.

With oven baked chicken thighs, fresh focaccia and my garden beans.

Roasted Cauliflower and Spicy Oil With Pasta

I love to eat seasonally and fall is cauliflower season. A large fresh head was bought at Valley Farm Market and I ate nearly quarter of it raw, dipped in homemade green goddess dressing, tasty. Eventually I felt a pasta dish might be great comfort food to use the rest of the head for. I was right! This is definitely a winner.  Roasted cauliflower was my starting place but something without too much sauce. This version has olive oil scented with garlic and red pepper flakes. It is topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious.

I used gf penne from Aldi’s but you could use any pasta type or shape you want. I also roasted half an onion for more flavor. Up to you. More red pepper; sure. Less garlic…sure.  If you hate onions; leave that out.  I used walnuts as I had no pine nuts. I toasted them for more flavor. They worked fine. I think this would be nice accompanied by a butternut squash soup. Great fall meal.

Pasta and veggies in the pan before cheese gets grated on top.

Roasted Cauliflower and Spicy Oil Over Penne

3-4 servings



1 small head cauliflower; about 4 cups of large flowerets.

½ a large onion cut top to bottom into thin wedges

1 large garlic clove minced

1-2 Tbsp EVOL

Scant ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp. sea salt


1 1/3 cup penne

3 Tbsp EVOL

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 large garlic clove smashed

3 Tbsp coarsely chopped walnuts

 1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

¼ C freshly grated parmesan cheese


Turn oven up to 450 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into med flowerets; don’t be afraid to cut across the middle of a big clump.  Place on large sheet pan with the onion slices. Drizzle EVOL over them, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and salt and squeeze garlic clove over. Roast 15 minutes, turn over cauliflower and onion and roast 10 more minutes; if browning too much turn oven off and let it coast the last few minutes.

Heat 2 quarts of water in a big pot; salt well. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain; save 2-3 Tbsp of pasta water.

While that cooks, heat 3 Tbsp EVOL in mini wok or fry pan. Add smashed garlic; cook 2-3 minutes; do not brown too deeply. Take out and let cool. Dump in red pepper flakes and cook a minute. Brown the walnut bits in a dry frying pan. Add the cauliflower, pasta, walnuts, fried garlic which you chopped fine and the parsley. Stir well; add the 2 Tbsp water if you want more liquid. Top with parmesan cheese. You can add more red pepper flakes and parsley if desired. Enjoy!