Monday, March 12, 2012

Creamy Pasta with Leeks, Peas and Ham

As soon as I saw this on the cover of the Women's Day April 2012 edition I knew I'd have to make it. Talk about a super fast and easy cream sauce, it calls for cream cheese-love that! The cover shows fettuccine, inside shows rigatoni, I used pene because that's what I had.
While I am still trying to follow new recipes completely, I did just wing this one and made quite a few substitutions... I used bacon fat instead of olive oil, onion instead of leeks and Neufchatel instead of cream cheese. Also threw the frozen peas into the pasta pot for the last couple minutes of cooking, forgot the nutmeg and grated a little extra Parm on top:@)
What I'm trying to say here folks is, oh yea, you do want to bookmark this for leftover Easter ham, 
you can't go wrong!

Creamy Double Cheese Sauce With Pasta
1 lb pasta
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 C milk
4 oz cream cheese, cut into pieces (very interesting!)
1/4 C Parmesan
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. (Reserve 1/4 C pasta water in case pasta seems dry after tossing with cheese sauce). Drain and return to pot.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, saute onion for about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add a little salt and pepper and the garlic, cook one minute more.
  4. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer.
  5. Whisk in cream cheese, Parm and nutmeg, simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Toss with pasta, adding some pasta water if it seems dry.
Creamy Pasta With Leeks, Peas and Ham
  1. Make pasta and cheese sauce above.
  2. Heat 1 Tblsp olive oil, saute 2 leeks until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 C frozen peas that have been thawed.
  4. Add 6oz thinly sliced ham. 
  5. Toss with pasta and cream sauce.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

I'm joining:
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday


  1. I was just looking at this very edition and this very thing! Great mouths eat alike! I can't make it right now because I'm strongly counting carbs, but it's on the wish list. Glad you tried it.

  2. Wow... I am craving for pasta.

    I used to use whole wheat pasta, I guess that a lil minus of carbs? LoL*

    Hope you're in the best of health and have a great week ahead.


  3. This sounds great! I love leeks! I have bookmarked this one, and I will try it later on in the week.

    Ricki Jill

  4. What a great family meal - my girls will love this!
    Mary x

  5. Cream cheese is a great flavor builder.
    Leave out the peas, and I am there
    Looks delicious!

  6. Hi Lynn,
    I am right off, to cook some noodles. That looks so great.
    Greetings, Johanna

  7. Delicious! It looks so good on the plate. I'm bookmarking it for a quick dinner soon.


  8. I love pasta...and leeks and such a great subtle flavor!

  9. We watch the carbs here, but this is a good recipe to save them for! I love all the goodies in this dish. I'm adding this to the must try recipe list. Thanks for sharing.

    the French Hutch

  10. I'm among the ranks of the carb watchers too but would love to try this with the Easter ham leftovers. It sounds delicious!

  11. Yumma Yumma! My mom used to make ham and peas and potatoes in a white sauce that I loved but my family finds bland - this is a nice alternative.

  12. ummmmmmmmmmmm you are making me hungry!!!! yummy!

  13. You consistently feature the kind of food I love! Pasta and peas go together so well! Yummy dish!

  14. Hi Lynnie! Oh, this looks delicious. I hope you've hidden this dish from Earl! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  15. Gosh, that looks sooo good. I'm going to make it. I substitute quite a bit too, and I always use Neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese. I like the way it spreads better, too. I also use the Neuf. in potato soup, to make it creamier and thicker. Thanks for the recipe. It's making me hungry right now.

  16. Oh, I could eat cream cheese by the spoonfuls! This is so much like a recipe I had for Marie Callendar's fettucine alfredo sauce, but you have added a few more nummy ingredients. It looks perfect to go in my Italian pasta bowls!

  17. OMGoodness, this sounds so delicious! I must try this!

  18. Yum, this looks delicious! The nutmeg adds a special little zing!

  19. I'm telling you, Lynn, your recipes just make me so hungry!! That pasta looks so fabulous!! I like how you substitute, which I love to do, too. I'm all about not going to the store if I don't have to.

  20. Look Delish! Thanks for sharing!

  21. This sounds delish! I will definitely make this, thanks!!! XO, Pinky

  22. Hi Lynn,
    This dish says Spring to me, it looks delicious with those fresh peas and ham. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    Miz Helen


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