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If you’re looking for one of those ‘new year new me’ recipes – no wheat, no dairy, no fat, no fun – you’re in the wrong place. This Creamy Leek and Bacon Bake ain’t one of those.
But then again, if you’re looking for one of those ‘new year new me’ blogs you’re squarely in the wrong place, too. Here I’m all about ‘hey, January is depressing enough, let’s go all out with the wheat, dairy, fat and fun!’.
And this is why I will never be a Victoria’s Secret Angel. But I’ll also never have a miserable January, so I can tell you easily who the winner is in this situation. And it’s the one happily eating a steaming bowl of crunchy, salty, moreish pasta.
Leek and Bacon Bake
This recipe, one that evoked such a feeling of winter comfort, was inspired by the fact I had nothing in the fridge post-Christmas and two hungry annoyingly children chomping at my arm. With a couple of sad and droopy leeks at the bottom of my vegetable drawer – they were a week out of date – I grabbed half a fancy packet of pasta out the larder and combined it with the last of the Christmas cheese and some almost past it (there’s a theme here) tub of cream. The result was heavenly: not in the least bit healthy, but with the crunch of some breadcrumbs oven baked on top this leek and bacon bake was a feast for both our tastebuds and our tummies. Comfort food at its finest, and at least it satisfies one of our five-a-day veggie portions (even if said veg is cooked in butter), so it can’t be all bad.
My mum used to cook a dish like this when I was growing up, a gorgeous amalgamation of leeks and ham. There’s a reason this is a classic combination; your tummy can – and it will! – thank me later.
Leek and Bacon Bake
- 6 rashers bacon, chopped
- 300 ml double cream
- 100 g cream cheese
- 400 g pasta
- a couple handfuls cheese I used one each of mozarella and cheddar
- 15 g butter
- 1 garlic clove, chopped finely
- 2 leeks, chopped into 1cm pieces
- 1 splash olive oil
- 1 handful breadcrumbs
Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees C.
Start by cooking your pasta for 2 minutes less than your packet instructions. Drain and refresh with cold water.
As your pasta is cooking, cook your bacon in a heavy-bottomed frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Keep cooking until golden and crispy.
When finished, pop the bacon on a plate. Add your butter to the frying pan and when melted add the leeks and stir well. Add your garlic and cook both until soft.
Return your pasta to the saucepan and add to this your cream cheese, other cheese, cream and a pinch of salt. Add the bacon and leek when cooked and stir well.
Pop the pasta into an oven-proof dish and scatter with breadcrumbs. Cook for 20 minutes, or until it's that lovely golden-brown colour on top. Scatter with parsley (if you have any!) and enjoy.