It’s not every day I make a pasta recipe that’s so good it’s worth writing down! Pasta is such a great thing to freestyle, but this weeknight sausage and leek pasta is so perfectly spot-on—I had to share it with you.
This Sausage and Leek Pasta is also super creamy, but you don’t need to mess around making a cream sauce. A big dollop of sour cream and well-seasoned pasta water coats the hearty pasta perfectly, and it comes together super fast.
What you’ll need to make this recipe
Leeks: One of my all-time favorite veggies, and one of the most underrated in my opinion!
Olive oil: For sauteing the leeks
Italian sausage: I generally use the mild version (AKA sweet Italian sausage) so it’s kid-friendly. But if you’re up for a little more kick, feel free to use hot Italian sausage.
Pasta: Rigatoni is my favorite for this recipe because the knobbly bits of sausage gets trapped inside the noodles in such a wonderful way. But any short pasta will do.
Tomato paste: It gives the creamy pasta a rosy glow!
Sour cream: It has to be the full-fat kind or else it will separate in the heat.
Dried oregano: To give this pasta a little something extra.
Garlic powder: I know it might seem weird that I’m not using fresh garlic here, but I kinda love garlic powder and it means you don’t need to peel or chop any garlic tonight!
Salt: For the sauce, and for the pasta water. This is a key ingredient.
How to make this Creamy Sausage and Leek Pasta
Follow these steps to make this hearty and flavourful weeknight pasta
Step 1 – Wash the leeks and slice them in half lengthwise, then cut across into 1 cm slices. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the leeks and a teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring, until the leeks have softened slightly.
Step 2 – Remove the sausages from their casings and add to the leeks. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon or a potato masher until there are no large chunks left. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or so, until the sausage is cooked and brown bits start to form on the bottom of the pan.
Step 3 – While the sausage is cooking, bring the pasta water to a boil in a medium or large pot, season it with plenty of salt, and drop the pasta into the salted water.
Step 4 – Add the tomato paste, garlic powder, and dried oregano to the sausage and leek mixture, stir to combine, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Step 5 – It should be about time to drain the pasta, being sure to save a good amount of pasta cooking water to adjust the sauce with.
Step 6 – Add the sour cream to the sausage and leek sauce mixture, and add a good splash of the pasta water to form a creamy sauce. Then add the pasta to the pan, and stir everything together keeping the pan on low heat until the pasta is coated with all that good stuff. Use additional pasta water to loosen up the sauce as needed.
I like to serve this pasta right in the skillet with a big serving spoon to let people help themselves. Top with grated cheese, chili flakes, or cracked black pepper if you’re into that kinda thing.
These tips will ensure you get the best Creamy Sausage and Leek Pasta possible.
- Wash the leeks really well, because nobody likes sandy bits of dirt in their pasta, right?
- Not to be a pasta snob, but the best kind of dried pasta is bronze die-cut, and it’ll say so right on the box! If you’ve never looked for that feature before, keep your eyes peeled for it because it really does make a difference. Die-cut pasta has a bit of a rougher texture, which makes the sauce cling to the noodle better. I also find it just indicates a higher quality product.
- Don’t overcook your pasta! I know this is pretty common knowledge these days, but a little reminder never hurts. Err on the side of slightly firm, rather than slightly mushy.
- Use mostly the light green parts of the leek, trimming off the dark green parts and saving them for vegetable stock or a long-cooking stew. The dark green parts of the leek have a lot of flavor but are a bit too tough for this pasta dish.
What goes well with this Sausage and Leek Pasta?
With hearty pasta recipes like this, All I really want with it is a nice big salad to go with it. Something with crunchy fennel and orange would be perfect with the Italian sausage. My creamy kale caesar would also be a nice option!
Oh, and a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese on top of this pasta would absolutely be A-OK.
Storage, freezing, and reheating tips
This sausage and leek pasta is perfect for lunch the next day. Simply reheat in the microwave or enjoy at room temperature. Beyond that, I wouldn’t recommend making this too far in advance, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend freezing it. There’s really no need to anyway because it’s so easy and it comes together so quickly!
If you like this recipe, here are a few more that might float your boat!
- The only Turkey Lasagna recipe you’ll ever need
- Brothy Turkey Meatballs with Lemon and Dill
- Instant Pot Chicken and Brown Rice with Mushrooms
I hope you love this easy weeknight pasta! Let me know by showing me your pictures. Tag me at @howtomakedinner on Instagram so I can see 🙂
- 400 grams leeks (1 extra-large or 2 medium)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 400 grams Italian sausage (4 or 5 links)
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon + 1 Tablespoon of salt
- 300 grams dried short pasta (I like Rigatoni)
- 125 grams full fat sour cream
- Wash the leeks and slice them in half lengthwise, then cut across into 1 cm slices. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the leeks and a teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or so until the leeks have softened slightly.
- Remove the sausages from their casings and add to the leeks. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon or a potato masher until there are no large chunks left. Continue cooking for 7-10 minutes, until the sausage is cooked and brown bits start to form on the bottom of the pan.
- While the sausage is cooking, it's time to start thinking about pasta. Bring 2 litres of water to a boil in a medium-large pot, and add 1 Tablespoon of salt. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic powder, and dried oregano to the sausage and leek mixture and stir to combine.
- It should be about time to drain the pasta, being sure to save a good amount of pasta cooking water to adjust the sauce with.
- Reduce the heat, add the sour cream to the sausage and leek sauce mixture, and add a good splash of the pasta water to form a creamy sauce. Then add the pasta to the pan, and stir everything together keeping the pan on low heat until the pasta is coated with all that good stuff. Use additional pasta water to loosen up the sauce as needed.