Creamy Penne with Spinach and Leek


  • 1 lb of penne (dry weight)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast


  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide pan.

  2. Fry the garlic and red pepper flakes on medium heat. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds.

  3. Toss in the pine nuts and toast for 2 minutes.

  4. Next, add the chopped leek, sprinkle some salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until light brown and soft.

  5. Meanwhile, boil the penne in salted water. Drain the pasta 2 minutes before al dente and reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.

  6. Add the pasta to the pan with garlic and leek and stir on medium heat for a minute.

  7. Stir in the coconut milk, salt, freshly ground pepper, nutritional yeast, and ground nutmeg.

  8. Stir in the reserved pasta water gradually, bringing to a gentle simmer until you achieve a creamy consistency. Continue stirring until the pasta is coated well with the cream.

  9. Add the spinach, give it a final stir, and turn off the heat.

  10. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot with freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.

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