Recipe: Creamy Leek & Hazelnut Wholemeal Spaghetti (Vegan Option)

Okay, so we did the super healthy January thing at the start of the week. Today I want to talk about pasta. Okay, it is a slightly healthier pasta dish than usual, but this bowlful of nutty wholemeal spaghetti (don’t be tempted to use regular white pasta, the wholemeal really makes this dish) tossed with slow cooked leeks, a creamy sauce, a dusting of lemon and some crunchy toasted hazelnuts is anything but a sad winter supper.

Oh, and did I mention it takes just 30 minutes to get on the table? It’s a veggie dish as long as you use vegetarian-friendly parmesan, but you can also switch your choice of dairy (I’ve listed light creme fraiche or soured cream below, I’ve made it with both and had delicious results with each) for your favourite vegan substitute, same with the cheese, and you’ve got a totally plant based dish!

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Creamy Leek & Hazelnut Wholemeal Spaghetti

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Made with nutty wholemeal spaghetti tossed in a creamy slow cooked leek sauce, this simple Creamy Leek & Hazelnut Wholemeal Spaghetti recipe is perfect for a crisp, cold January day.


  • 200g (7 oz) wholemeal spaghetti
  • generous glug light oil
  • 2 small or 1 large leek
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • generous glug white wine
  • 2 tbsp low fat creme fraiche or soured cream
  • handful freshly grated parmesan (plus extra for serving)
  • freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
  • large handful toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Cook the pasta in a plan of boiling salted water as per the packets instructions. I always check for doneness after about 12 minutes. Make sure to reserve about 1/2 a mug full of pasta water for the sauce before draining.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Top, tail and clean the leeks before slicing into very thin half moons.
  3. Heat a generous glug of oil in a medium frying pan set over a medium heat. Gently fry the leek with a generous pinch of salt for 10 minutes or so until soft and just starting to colour.
  4. Peel and slice the garlic clove. Stir it into the fried leeks and cook for a further minute or so until soft and aromatic. Stir in the lemon zest ands a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  5. Splash in a generous glug of wine and allow it to bubble away. Stir in the creme fraiche or soured cream.
  6. Add the pasta and the parmesan, and stir until everything is coated. Add a splash of pasta water and cook, still stirring, until the sauce has reduced to cling to the pasta. If you don’t feel you have enough sauce or things are looking a bit dry, just add more of the reserved pasta water. 
  7. Remove the pasta from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the hazelnuts before dividing between two warm bowls. Top each with a bit more cheese, a good grind of black pepper and the rest of the hazelnuts.