This is a dish which brings back a lot of childhood memories for me, as this is based off a dish that my Mum used to make all the time when I was younger and, because of this, I find it to be a very filling, warming, and satisfying dish. My Mum learned it from a Delia Smith recipe but, as I like to try and do with everything, I’ve taken the basis of that recipe and put my own spin on it and made it just slightly easier by removing the need for a Bechamel sauce by using a combination of Creme Fraiche, Cream and Milk – this makes it a great a recipe for those of you whom want a satisfying evening meal, but without the hassle. This is a real personal favourite, and I hope it’ll become one of yours too.
Bacon & Leek Pasta BakePrint Recipe
- 250g Pasta
- 200g Grated Cheese
- 50g Breadcrumbs
- 6 x Rashers of Unsmoked Bacon
- 2 x Leeks
- 3 x Garlic Cloves
- 300ml Creme Fraiche
- 150ml Single Cream
- 50ml Milk
- 1tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
- 1tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1tsp Dried Thyme
- 1tsp Dried Rosemary
- 1tsp Salt
- 1tsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 1tbsp Flour
- 25g Butter
- 2tbsp Olive Oil
Preheat an oven to 200°C (190°C fan)/375°F/Gas Mark 5.
Cut the top and bottom off of the leeks, and remove the outer leaves and discard.
Chop the leeks in half lengthways, and then chop the leeks into approx 2cm strips.
Peel and finely very dice, or crush, the garlic cloves.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the pasta and leave to simmer for 8 - 10 minutes until the pasta is almost cooked.
While the pasta cooks, add the butter and olive oil to a large pan over a medium-high heat until the butter is melted and starts to foam. Add in the leeks and turn the heat down to a medium-low. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring the leeks regularly, until the start to soften.
After 5 minutes, add the garlic and bacon to the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes, again stirring often.
Add the tablespoon of flour to the bacon and leeks, stirring and coating everything, and cook for a minute or two to cook out the raw flour flavour.
Remove the pasta from the heat and drain, saving a little of the pasta water, and add to the pan with the bacon and leeks, stirring everything together.
Add the creme fraiche, single cream and milk and stir together well to create the sauce.
Next, add the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and both mustards and stir into the sauce. Turn the heat up to a medium-high and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.
Add everything to a large, oven-proof dish, making it as level as you can.
Cover the pasta with the grated cheese (Cheddar and Mozarella works great) and then sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.