Cheesy leek & spinach pasta

Cheesy leek & spinach pasta

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(27 ratings)

Ready in 25-35 minutes


Serves 4
Comfort food at its best - penne with a blue cheese and tomato cream sauce with added vegetables

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal808
  • fat35g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs103g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre9g
  • protein27g
  • salt2.03g
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  • good knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large leeks, total weight about 450g/1lb, thinly sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 500g packets penne rigate or your favourite pasta shape
  • 200ml tub crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard



    A condiment made by mixing the ground seeds of the mustard plant with a combination of…

  • 125g packet Danish blue cheese, roughly diced
  • 8 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and thinly sliced
  • 225g bag baby spinach leaves



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…


  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large pan, tip in the leeks and splash in a little hot water. Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until no longer squeaky.

  2. While the leeks are cooking, boil the penne in salted water according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, tip the crème fraîche, sundried tomatoes and mustard into the leeks, add three-quarters of the cheese and season well. Stir until the cheese melts. Take off the heat.

  3. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Tip the pasta into the sauce and stir, adding enough cooking water to make the sauce coat the pasta. Stir in the spinach, a big handful at a time, until it wilts, splashing in a little more water if needed. Toss in the remaining cheese and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Nov, 2016
This is an easy pasta dish and went down very well but I did tweak it slightly. I felt sundries tomatoes would definitely not go so I left these out and instead added these to a side salad which I served along side the dish. I also added about 3 cloves of chopped garlic into the sauce which really helped liven it up a little. Also served with garlic bread, very nice!
30th Oct, 2014
Should have trusted my instincts when looking at the ingredients. It was a strange combination to say the least!
24th Sep, 2013
Any particular reason you recommend Danish blue cheese? England makes perfectly good Stilton.
28th Apr, 2013
Nom Nom!! I had to substitute cheddar for the blue cheese as I am pregnant but did everything else as per the menu and this was delicious. Also quick and easy to throw together. Definitely to become a midweek favourite!
4th Jun, 2011
One of my favourite pasta recipes, but I do prefer using either Gorgonzola or Roquefort, because Danish Blue is a bit too harsh for my taste. In addition, sometimes I used roasted cherry tomatoes to save costs. Scrummy with the cheese amendment!
26th May, 2011
As has already been said: ingredients includes sundried toms, but the method doesn't mention them...
16th Apr, 2011
Really nice but a little to rich so used feta instead second time round and was delicious
cherryxx's picture
16th Apr, 2011
Didn't like it at all.
1st Mar, 2011
This went down very well, and soooooo simple, didn't have any spinach but that wasn't a problem, thank you for the recipe
5th Jul, 2010
didn't like this at all, too cloying!


6th Jan, 2014
So when and where do we add the sun-dried tomatoes?
goodfoodteam's picture
13th Jan, 2014
Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. The sundried tomatoes should be added to the leeks when you add the mustard. This was missing from the original method but has now been added, so thanks for flagging this and apologies for the inconvenience. Best wishes, BBC Good Food web team
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