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Turkey, pasta and leek crisp

Turkey, pasta and leek crisp

2 months

This warming dish appeals to children and adults alike, so it makes an ideal family meal. It is a good example of an everyday dish in which vegetables, pasta, and breadcrumbs extend a modest portion of a protein food, which, being turkey or chicken or chicken breast, means the dish is low in fat too.


  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 400g (14 oz) leeks, sliced
  • 450ml (15 fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) white wine or additional stock
  • 300g (10½ oz) cavatelli (fluted pasta shells) or other shapes such as fusilli (spirals)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400g (14 oz) turkey or chicken breast fillet, skin removed, then cut into thin strips
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
  • 45g (1½ oz) plain flour
  • salt and pepper

For Topping:

  • 50g (1¾ oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1.  Place the carrots and leeks in a saucepan. Add the stock and the wine, if using, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender but not soft.
  2.  Drain the vegetables, reserving the stock. Place the vegetables in a large ovenproof dish. Return the stock to the pan and boil it until it is reduced to about 300 ml (10 fl oz). Set aside to cool.
  3.  Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain well and add to the vegetables; mix together. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5).
  4.  Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the sliced turkey or chicken and cook, stirring, for 5–10 minutes or until lightly browned. Use a draining spoon to remove the turkey from the pan and mix it with the pasta and vegetables.
  5.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the milk and cooled stock. Whisking constantly, sprinkle the flour into the liquid. Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil, still whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sauce is thick and smooth. Add seasoning to taste.
  6.  Pour the sauce over the pasta mixture, coating it evenly. Mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley, and sprinkle this evenly over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crisp and golden.

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