This creamy artichoke pasta uses lemon zest and parsley to balance the richness of the Parmesan cheese sauce. You can use frozen or canned artichoke hearts in this healthy pasta recipe.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes; cook, stirring often, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Add milk, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 cup Parmesan; cook, stirring constantly, until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the cooked orzo and 6 tablespoons parsley. Gradually stir in the reserved cooking water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Serve the orzo topped with the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons parsley.