Turkey and leek fusilli with crispy sage breadcrumbs

Gordon, in a flash: Turkey and leek fusilli with crispy sage breadcrumbs

For a change, skip the bolognese and make this creamy turkey and leek sauce in a fraction of the time instead. It might just become a regular midweek family meal, as it has at my house. You could also make it with minced chicken or sausage meat, and you can swap the sage for thyme, parsley or tarragon, depending on your preference. Any shape of fresh or dried pasta would work too.


2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 banana shallots

3 garlic cloves

4 sage leaves

400g minced turkey leg

2 leeks

480g fresh fusilli or penne

200ml double cream

Small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


2 tbsp olive oil

2 sage leaves

6 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

  • Fill the kettle with water and bring to the boil, then pour it into a saucepan, season with salt and return to the boil.
  • Place a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium–high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. While the oil is heating, peel and roughly grate the shallots and garlic, then add to the pan. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the sage leaves and turkey, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon while it cooks for 3–4 minutes, until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, finely slice the leeks and add to the boiling water for 1 minute, before adding the fusilli. Stir to separate the pasta, then allow to cook for 2 minutes, or as per the packet instructions.
  • Pour the cream into the meat, stir to combine, and allow to come to the boil. Reduce to a simmer until needed.
  • If making the crispy sage breadcrumbs, place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Finely chop the sage leaves, then add them to the hot oil along with the breadcrumbs. Cook until crisp and golden brown.
  • Drain the pasta and leeks, reserving 2–3 tablespoons of the water, and add them to the sauce.
  • Finely chop the parsley leaves and zest the lemon, then add both to the pasta along with some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Divide the pasta between four bowls and finish with the sage breadcrumbs (if making), some freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.