“Quick” and Easy Dinner Recipe: Orecchiette With Leeks, Peas, and Pecorino

There are a few recipes that I have torn out of magazines and put in clear plastic sleeves because I cook them so often that they need to be protected from my messy cooking habits.  One that I took from Real Simple magazine 10 years ago has become a household favorite.  I leave out the mint and lemon zest but that is completely your call.

  • Serves4
  • Hands-On Time
  • Total Time


    Per Serving

    • Calories735 calories
    • Calories33 calories from fat
    • Fat27 g
    • Sat Fat16 g
    • Cholesterol86 mg
    • Sodium639 mg
    • Protein34 g
    • Carbohydrate85 g
    • Sugar7 g
    • Fiber19 g


  1. 1pound dry orecchiette or some other short pasta
  2. 2tablespoons olive oil
  3. 4leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  4. 1/2teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1/2teaspoon black pepper
  6. 2cloves garlic, finely chopped
  7. 110-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  8. 3/4cup heavy cream
  9. 1cup (4 ounces) grated Pecorino
  10. 2teaspoons lemon zest
  11. 1/4cup fresh mint leaves, torn


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the leeks to the saucepan, season with the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and peas and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Stir in the cream and ¾ cup of the Pecorino. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce, lemon zest, and mint to the pasta pot and toss. Divide among shallow bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Pecorino and pepper.
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Hello Friends

My name is Claire and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer servicing the Philadelphia Metro Area/Delaware Valley and beyond.