Easy Dinner: Orecchiette with leeks, peas, and Pecorino

I have a handful of recipes ripped from magazines and stored in plastic sleeves because I use them so often and am a messy cook.  Here is one of my easy, go to pasta meals that tore out of Real Simple magazine 10 years ago.  It is excellent on its own if you want a meatless monday.  Or goes great with something like flank steak.  Enjoy!

Orecchiette With Leeks, Peas, and Pecorino

Serves:  4
Hands-On Time: 25 min
Total Time: 25 min


Per Serving

Calories 735 calories (33 calories from fat)
Fat 27 g
Sat Fat 16 g
Cholesterol 86 mg
Sodium 639 mg
Protein  34 g
Carbohydrate 85 g
Sugar 7 g
Fiber 19 g


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


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
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.
Add the garlic and peas and cook for 2 minutes more.
Stir in the cream and ¾ cup of the Pecorino. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes.
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.
By Kate Merker