1 tablespoon butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large leek (white and light-green parts only), washed well, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
12 ounces orechiette pasta
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream 1
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons chopped chives (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add leek, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Add cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until it is slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes; remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice.
Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving about ½ cup cooking water. 2 minutes before pasta is finished cooking, add peas to pot and finish cooking; drain well. Return pasta to pot.
Add leek mixture, cheese, and enough pasta water to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer pasta to serving dish and garnish with additional grated cheese and chives. Serve immediately.