Healthy Food

Creamy leek and watercress spaghetti

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Looking for a tasty spaghetti recipe? Look no further than this recipe that uses leek and watercress for a medley of delicious flavours.
Watercress is a wonderful leaf to add to pasta dishes for a kick of wellbeing goodness. Plus, it contains more vitamin C than an orange, more iron than spinach and more folate than a banana (weight for weight). Watercress is also a good source of vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and manganese, as well as vitamin K and A. These all help to promote strong teeth and good bone health and can safeguard against conditions such as brittle bones and osteoporosis.
Leeks are also fantastic for our circulation. The high levels of polyphenols and kaempferol in leeks help protect our blood vessels from free-radical damage and the presence of vitamin B folate (folic acid) also means that they are good for our hearts.
Paired together with spaghetti in a light sauce, this is a flavoursome, yet incredibly simple creamy pasta recipe for a satisfying supper. Serve with a generous dusting of Parmesan or your favourite vegetarian hard cheese.

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Wellbeing Wisdom

  • Gram for gram, watercress has more calcium than milk.

Ingredients

For sauce

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 lemon, juice & zest
  • 250g crème fraîche
  • 90ml milk
  • 70g Parmesan, finely grated (or vegetarian hard cheese)
  • 150g watercress, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 400g wholemeal spaghetti
  • 4 handfuls of watercress

Method

  1. Heat up the butter and olive oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat and sauté the leek for five minutes before adding in the garlic for a further minute. Pour in the wine and mix in the tbsp of flour, before lowering the heat and allowing the alcohol to burn off for up to ten minutes.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and a little zest, before stirring in the crème fraîche and milk. Let it simmer for a further five minutes, adding more milk if necessary to loosen. Stir in half the Parmesan and just before you’re ready to serve over the pasta, stir in the watercress, leaving a little to garnish.
  3. Place the spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and cook for approx ten minutes, adding a little oil and salt to the water. Drain the spaghetti, place in a large bowl and mix in the sauce. Season well and divide between four bowls to serve, garnishing each with a handful of fresh watercress and the remaining Parmesan.