Creamy Spinach and Pasta

I like pasta because most of them come in savory format. I find savory foods incredibly satisfying and comforting. When I’m having a bad day I want something savory. Unfortunately for my waistline that usually leads to pasta or rice dishes. I adapted this recipe just a little from Deb at Smitten Kitchen. Her culinary skills extend beyond mine by light years so I only covet most of her recipes from afar. This recipe comes together quickly, though it’s not very light on the dishes. It’s healthy, it is really delicious and if you want a snack, you can eat the spinach mixture by itself , add some spices and make it a veggie dip and just forego the pasta. It is also amazing over a big pile of quinoa and lentils!

Original recipe found here

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 lb Spinach – Washed and Chopped (two big bunches
1 Leek – White and light green parts – washed
4 cloves Garlic – Peeled and crushed with side of a knife, then sliced
3 tbsp Butter or Non-Dairy Alternative
3 tbsp Flour – Gluten Free or Wheat
1 1/4 cup Milk or Non-Dairy Alternative
1-2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese – Grated

METHOD
– Rinse and chop spinach. Don’t dry, put in large stockpot on medium heat. Use the water on the leaves from rinsing to steam the spinach. It will reduce. Put through strainer and drain as much water as you can.
– In small saucepan heat milk and cheese on low. Just enough to make the milk warm and the cheese melt.
– In stockpot that spinach was in, melt margarine and add leek and garlic. Cook until tender, stirring often. Add flour and whisk until leeks are coated. Add milk mixture and whisk constantly until thickened. Add spinach and combine.
– When pasta is cooked, toss with spinach mixture.
– Remove from heat and serve. Salt and pepper to taste.

NOTES
– Original recipe called for 1 lb of chard. If you prefer chard to spinach, please feel free! It won’t change the points value.
– You can use any kind of gluten free flour and if you are not gluten free then use 3 tbsp of white or brown wheat flour. The result is exactly the same.
– I’ll admit it, I use more than 2 tbsp of cheese. *shrug* So sue me.
– The last time I made this I added a package of Italian Sausage meat. It was the bomb and I’m pretty sure I’ll never make it without again. Obviously the nutritional info below doesn’t include the extra cheese or the sausage meat.
– Calorie count below does NOT include the pasta. It is only for the spinach mixture. Ensure you know what one serving of your pasta is before dishing up. It will say on the package.

NUTRITIONAL INFO
Serves 4
Weight Watchers points per serving – 4
Calories – 156.2
Fat – 6.5g
Fibre – 4.6g
Carbohydrates – 16.1g
Sodium – 293mg
Protein – 9.8g

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