Thick and chewy whole wheat orecchiette is the perfect shape to pick up a creamy coating of the rich, yet light, sauce. Combined with fresh leeks, spinach, and parsley, it is a flavor-packed dinner that will leave the whole family licking their bowls.
10 ounces whole wheat orecchiette pasta
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 large leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon white whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon ⅓-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded aged white cheddar cheese
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley
How to Make It
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add orecchiette and cook for 7-9 minutes, or until al dente.
While pasta water is coming to a boil, heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add leeks and cook until wilted. Transfer leeks to a plate and return pan to stove.
Make the sauce: Add garlic and olive oil and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt and flour, stirring until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; add cream cheese, stirring to combine. Take pan off of heat and stir in shredded cheese.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta directly into sauce. Add more pasta water to thin out the sauce, if necessary. Add leeks and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Serve with a garnish of Italian parsley.