|I used macaroni because it needed using up - but Spirali or Fusilli are good!|
I couldn't eat this meal too regularly, but as a fall-back position for tired days or when you want a quick meal before going out - you just can't beat it.
The entire ingredient list is 8 items - 9 if you include Parmesan for sprinkling, which isn't essential, but is nice - and so long as you choose a good well flavoured back bacon, you just can't go wrong.
|Diced bacon cooking out its moisture and rendering the fat|
|See what I mean about pressing each little round to see if it's soft enough to separate?|
|The gorgeous sauce, all ready to be added to the pasta|
There's just something very harmonious about the creaminess, the sharpness of the salty, smoky bacon against the gentle savouriness of the leek, then the soft chewiness of the pasta - all closely followed by a comforting warmth from the cayenne that says "eat me and relax".
Don't mind if I do. :)
BACON & LEEK PASTA (serves 3)
300g back bacon, diced
a knob of butter
2-3 leeks, trimmed up, washed and sliced
1 tsp mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce
300g pasta (spirali or fusilli are good)
200ml creme fraiche D'Isigny (or any good full fat creme fraiche)
half a tsp of cayenne pepper
50ml semi-skimmed milk
some grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling.
1. Heat a dry frying pan and then cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is becoming crispy. Remove and set aside to keep warm.
2. Place a large pan of salted water on to a heat, for the pasta.
3. Add the knob of butter to the bacon juices and on a gentle heat, add the leeks - trying to get them all to lay down in contact with the pan as much as possible. Cook them gently in this way, until each little "round" separates with a press from your spoon or spatula. Separate out all the layers in this way and add the mushroom ketchup or Worcestershire sauce.
4. When the pasta water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions (usually 9-10 minutes or until al dente). Drain well, once cooked, and return to the pan to keep warm.
5. Add the creme fraiche to the frying pan, along with a little milk to help it dissolve into a sauce. Add the cayenne pepper and taste to check the seasoning - add a little salt or pepper (both are highly unlikely) if required.
6. Cook gently until either the creme fraiche has warmed through or the sauce has achieved the consistency you prefer, then add it to the pasta and stir through gently.
7. Serve at once, onto warmed plates. Add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, to taste.