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Delicious Caramelized Creamy Leek Pasta

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4.9 from 15 reviews


A luscious and insanely delicious creamy caramelized leek pasta sauce. Flavoured with parmesan, garlic, lemon and rosemary.


  • Pasta, 200g dried or 300g fresh
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 - 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 60g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Cut the green part off the leek and discard. Cut the white part down the middle lengthwise then run under a tap to get rid of any dirt. Cut into 1cm slices.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced leek and onion.
  3. Toss then turn the heat down to pretty much the lowest heat and cook for 25 - 30 minutes until lightly caramelized. You want the heat low enough that it doesn't catch, you'll need to stir every few minutes.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside. Don't clean the pan!
  5. Get your pasta cooking in a pot of well salted boiling water.
  6. When your pasta only has 4 minutes or so to go, start the sauce.
  7. Return the frying pan to a medium heat and melt 1 tbsp butter.
  8. Add  the garlic and sizzle for 30 seconds.
  9. Turn down the heat and add the cream, bring to a gentle simmer. Use a spoon or ideally a flat whisk to get any brown bits stuck from the onion mixed in.
  10. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  11. Add the parmesan in two or three lots, letting it melt into the cream before adding the next lot.
  12. Add in your cooked pasta and toss.
  13. Add the leek and onion mixture plus the rosemary and toss.
  14. Let it gently bubble away for a minute or two until the sauce thickens slightly. Add a splash of pasta water to thin if needed.


  • The heat when cooking the onions and leeks needs to be quite low, you don't want them to burn but just slowly caramelize. I have an induction cook top so I can control the heat really easily. You might need to have it on the lowest heat possible and it might not take that long if you can't get your heat really low.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Vegetarian
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired