22 March 2012

Bacon & Leek Pasta - our very favourite fall-back recipe

I used macaroni because it needed using up - but Spirali or Fusilli are good!
Let's not shilly-shally about - this recipe occurred on this day purely because of Bacon Connoisseur's Week.  However, I was so pleased I booked it in for the beginning of the week instead of the end (it's a great Monday dinner, as it doesn't need many fresh vegetables keeping for it!).  After all last week's activities, I could do with an easy peasy meal to make.

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
The recipe can bear some adaptation, too - as I've used sliced mushrooms with the leeks in the past and they haven't done it any harm at all.  So it's a useful repository for a few unused mushrooms!  Peas would go nicely, too.

See what I mean about pressing each little round to see if it's soft enough to separate?
However, I wouldn't recommend using low fat creme fraiche, as in my experience it has a tendency to split - and as it forms the majority of the sauce, that would just be horrible.  However, you're only using 200ml of it - and divided amongst three people, it's only 66.6ml per person which isn't too terrible!

The gorgeous sauce, all ready to be added to the pasta
This recipe has the undoubted accolade of being the first recipe to be cooked in our new flat in Dorset when we first moved here.  We had just a borrowed two-ring Belling hotplate as the cooker hadn't been installed at that stage and sitting down to a yummy comforting plate of Bacon & Leek Pasta in our new place, really helped to make it feel like home.

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.

Method :

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.


1 comment:

  1. I made this today it was amazing!! Took a very quick photo and posted it on Bakes and Cooks and tried to tag you but don't think it worked! I will definitely be making this again. Thank you 😊


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