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Cheesy Leek Pasta

Photo: Rachel Johnson

4 servings

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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 332
  • fat 6.3 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 1.2
  • polyfat 0.6 g
  • protein 15 g
  • carbohydrate 59 g
  • fiber 7 g
  • cholesterol 11 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 369 mg
  • calcium 154 mg
  • sugars 1.2 g

How to Make It

  1. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add orecchiette and cook for 7-9 minutes, or until al dente.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.