This creamy mushroom and leek pasta is a warming and comforting dish. With buttery leeks, meaty shiitake mushrooms and a creamy white wine and thyme sauce, this is proper comfort food!
I don’t know if there’s anything better at the end of a long day than a big bowl of creamy pasta. This creamy leek pasta is just what I need when the weather turns. I’ve been making this dish for a few years now and it never fails to satisfy the whole family.
Leeks cooked until they are perfectly soft and creamy really make this dish. Meaty shiitake mushrooms add extra flavour and texture and that sauce is deliciously creamy. This is so easy to make, with just a few simple ingredients too.
Why This Recipe Works
- Creamy, buttery leeks! This dish is a great way to use up leeks and make them shine!
- Shiitake mushrooms, perfectly meaty they bring extra flavour and texture.
- No cream! This sauce may be creamy but there is no heavy cream in there.
What You’ll Need
- Leeks – you will need 2 large leeks for this. I use the white part and some of the light green parts too. When buying leeks look for those that have as much white and light green as possible. The stalks should be crisp and firm. Smaller leeks are best, they will have the best taste. Avoid leek stalks that are withered or have yellow tops. Looking for the best way to clean leeks? Check out this method by Epicurious.
- Mushrooms – I use Shiitake mushrooms for this recipe as they have a meaty texture adn earthy flavour which compliments the leeks perfectly. When buying shiitake mushrooms look for mushrooms with thick caps, avoid mushrooms that look wet, slimy, or shrivelled. If you can, choose mushrooms whose caps are domed and curled under, this is a sign of freshness.
- Pasta – You can use your favourite pasta here, any kind of ribbon pasta works really well though. I love pappardelle pasta for this recipe.
- Herbs – Fresh Thyme is added to the sauce and Flat Leaf Parsley is added at the end of the dish.
- Garlic – I use 2 – 3 cloves of garlic for this recipe if you want to use less then 1 clove will do.
- For the sauce – Hard Italian cheese, Dijon mustard, creme fraiche, plain (all-purpose) flour, white wine and water from the cooking pasta will make your sauce. For the wine, I used a dry white wine. The creme fraiche was low fat and the hard Italian cheese was pecorino cheese if you’re not vegetarian parmesan will do.
- Butter – I add butter for extra creaminess in the sauce and it adds extra flavour.
How To Make Leek Pasta With Mushrooms
This is a quick visual guide, the full recipe is in the recipe card below.
- Cook the leeks – heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan. Add the chopped leeks and cook until soft. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- Add the mushrooms – add the garlic, mushrooms, and thyme leaves to the pan and cook for a few minutes.
- Make the sauce – add the wine and cook it down. Stir in the flour, creme fraiche, and mustard, stir well. Stir in the cheese and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in a cup of water from the cooking pasta and stir well until you have a creamy sauce.
- Add the pasta – toss well until the pasta is covered in the sauce.
Tips For Making The Best Creamy Leek Pasta
- When cooking the leeks stir them often, you don’t want any charred or brown leeks in your sauce.
- Cut off any tough stems from the mushrooms, they will stay tough if you cook them and you really don’t want that in your sauce.
- Cook the pasta al dente for the best results.
- Don’t forget to use that pasta water to make your sauce, one cup should do the trick but if you prefer a thinner sauce then add some more water. The starch in the water from the pasta makes the sauce thick and helps it to stick to the pasta.
- This dish is best served straight away.
Can I reheat this dish? Yes, you can. The best way to reheat it is on the hob. Add the pasta to a pan, gently heat until warmed through. You will need to add some hot water to loosen the sauce. I sometimes add a little more creme fraiche too.
Can you freeze this? I don’t recommend freezing this dish. If you do have any leftovers you can keep them in the fridge for a day or two then reheat on the hob.
More Tasty Comfort Food Inspiration
If you’re looking for a good soup recipe for using up leeks then this Vegan Leek & Potato Soup is perfect for lunch. In need of a creamy mushroom dish? This Creamy Mushroom Risotto is just for you, one of the most requested dishes in my house! If you want more creamy pasta then check out my Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Pasta.
Have you made this Creamy Mushroom and Leek Pasta Recipe? Rate it and leave me a comment below to let me know what you think!
Creamy Mushroom and Leek Pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaped tbsp 20g butter
- 2 medium leeks (250g ) cleaned and sliced. I use the white end and some of the light green end.
- 3 cups 200g shiitake mushrooms wiped clean, tough stems removed and roughly sliced.
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 cup 120 ml of white wine
- 3 to 4 sprigs of thyme leaves plucked
- 1 heaped tbsp all-purpose/plain flour
- 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 heaped tbsp creme fraiche I used low-fat creme fraiche
- 1/2 cup 40g vegetarian hard Italian cheese. I used pecorino. finely grated plus more for serving
- 1 cup of water from the cooking pasta
- 8 oz 250g pappardelle pasta or pasta of your choice
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more for cooking the pasta
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley optional
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large sautè pan.Add the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt and cook gently over a low to medium heat for about 20 minutes stirring regularly. The leeks should be very soft.
- Add 2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp of thyme leaves and 3 cups of sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.Turn up the heat and pour in the wine, the wine should sizzle when it hits the pan. Turn the heat down and let the leeks and mushrooms soak up the wine.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Add 1 heaped tbsp of plain/all-purpose flour, 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard and 1 heaped tbsp of creme fraiche to the leeks and mushrooms and stir well. Stir in the grated cheese and stir until melted.
- Now slowly start to add about 1 cup of water from the pasta to the leek and mushrooms.Add about 1/4 of the water and keep stirring until it is a thick sauce. Continue this until you have added all the water and you have a creamy, silky sauce. Check the seasoning now, add more salt or pepper if needed.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until all the pasta is covered in sauce.
- Serve immediately with shavings of pecorino cheese, some chopped parsley and cracked black pepper.
- Leeks - I use all of the white parts of the leek (except the roots) and some of the pale green part. Any remaining leek can be used to make your own vegetable stock.
- Mushrooms - If you can't find shiitake mushrooms, chestnut or brown mushrooms work really well too. If you are using shiitake, make sure to remove any part of the stem that feels tough.
- Storing/Freezing/Reheating - I do not recommend freezing this dish. If you have any leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They will keep for up to 2 days. To reheat, add the cooked dish to a sautè pan with a little hot water, stir continuously until it is piping hot. You could also add a little more creme fraiche if you wish.
- Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool. It is based on one serving of four and does not include extra cheese as garnish. It is calculated on 565g of cooked pasta for the entire dish, not the dry weight listed. If you wish to be more accurate please weigh your pasta before you serve it.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.
*This recipe was first published on March 23, 2017. It has now been updated with new photos, a step by step guide and expert tips.