Pasta with Leek, Pepper, and Chive Sauce

The leeks contribute to make a fine pasta sauce because they cook quickly to a buttery sweetness. Peel the bell peppers with a vegetable peeler; the pepper strips will become softer and adhere to the pasta better without the peel. The recipe suggests that you use ear-shaped orecchiette, but any small pasta will work in this recipe. Try using whole wheat orzo.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
2 yellow bell peppers, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese
3 cups hot cooked orecchiette pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and bell pepper strips; saute 4 minutes. Stir in broth, rind, and juice; cook 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until cream cheese melts (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add pasta, salt, and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in Parmesan and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine