chicken, mushroom and leek spaghetti bake

i used the leftover chicken from our roast to make a version of nigel slater’s chicken and pasta pie. it’s not really a pie though, it’s more like a pasta bake. it is exciting though, as it uses spaghetti rather than pasta shapes or lasagne sheets.

and, because it is exciting as well as delicious, i am sharing this recipe with the lovely ruth from once upon a feast who founded presto pasta nights (which is now two years old!) and is this week’s host. happy birthday ruth and ppn!

chicken, mushroom and leek spaghetti bake* (serves 4)

350g spaghetti

25g butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 leeks, cleaned, halved lengthways and chopped into 3cm pieces

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

200g button mushrooms, quartered

250-350g cooked chicken, roughly chopped

300ml double cream

300ml white or rose wine

225g baby spinach

125g strong cheddar or parmesan

zest of a lemon

cook the spaghetti in a large pan of generously salted boiling water. drain and set aside, adding a little olive oil to stop it sticking together. heat the oven to 180c.

warm the butter and oil in a large pan and add the leeks. fry gently until they soften then add the garlic and mushrooms. cook until the mushrooms have softened, add the cooked chicken and then pour in the wine.

bring to the boil then add the cream and bring it back to the boil. place the spinach on top, cover and lower the heat. cook for c5 minutes during which time the spinach will wilt. mix it in with the rest of the ingredients in the pan, add two thirds of the cheese and the lemon zest and season to taste.

fold in the cooked spaghetti and tip into a large baking dish. scatter the remaining cheese on top and bake for 35 minutes until the top is crisp and golden.

* based on a nigel slater recipe

this dish freezes well, defrost before baking.