Chicken Orecchiette with Leeks and Peas

  • Yield 6 to 8 servings

Orecchiette ("little ears") pasta is tossed with rotisserie chicken, leeks, peas and a creamy cheese sauce.


1 pound dry orechiette pasta
1 rotisserie chicken, lemon seasoned if possible
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium leeks (white and green parts only), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, divided
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn


  1. In a large saucepan, prepare pasta with salted water, per package directions.
  2. Remove meat from rotisserie chicken, discarding skin and bones. Pull apart or chop meat into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
  3. In another large saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the leeks and season with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and peas and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the reserved chicken pieces. Mix in the cream and 3/4 cup of the Pecorino cheese; let simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and return it to its pot. Add the chicken mixture, lemon zest and mint, tossing to combine. Turn the pasta out onto a serving platter, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve.



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